Becky Fallberg served The Walt Disney Studios in many capacities, beginning as a telephone operator and ultimately working her way up to manager of the Ink and Paint department. While there wasn’t any job she couldn’t do at Disney, there was a favorite: “I loved supervising the Art Props department,” she admitted. “There, I met people throughout the entire Studio, not just from a single department. The people were what made my years at Disney special, and in that position, I met many. And we were all working together toward the same goal—making magic.”
Born June 10, 1923, in Los Angeles, Becky and her family moved near The Walt Disney Studios when she was 12. A lover of Disney cartoons, which she watched almost every Saturday afternoon at a local movie theater, she joined the Studio in 1942 after graduating from John Marshall High School and studying art for one year at Los Angeles City College.
Her parents, an electrician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and a homemaker, didn’t approve. “It wasn’t long after the Depression,” she later explained. “My father thought I should get a secure job at the postal service or the telephone company. He thought all I wanted was glamour.”
Within months of joining Disney, Becky was promoted from telephone operator to painter, working on animated training and propaganda films, including Victory Through Air Power, which the Studio was producing in support of American military efforts during World War II.
By 1943, she moved from Ink and Paint to the Animation department, where she copied animators’ drawings for the Color Model department and assisted animation supervisor Johnny Bond. As Bond’s assistant, Becky helped farm out animation scenes to be drawn by artists.
Then, in 1947, she became a blue sketch artist for the Layout and Background department. There, she helped to trace and chart character movement within animated scenes for layout artists, as they created the rich and textured backgrounds that Disney characters moved against.
She returned to the Ink and Paint department in 1950 to serve as paint matcher and, later, final checker, ensuring that animation cels were properly drawn and colored. During the 1960s and early 70s, she worked in the newly-developed Xerox Camera department, followed by the Educational Films department, where she and her supervisor performed all Ink and Paint tasks.
Having worked on every Disney animated feature since 1943’s Saludos Amigos, the seasoned and knowledgeable artist was promoted to manager of the Ink and Paint department in 1975. Becky Fallberg remained head of the department until 1986, when she retired after more than 45 years at The Walt Disney Studios.
Becky Fallberg passed away on October 9, 2007.