Nine distinguished animation film directors shared their experiences along complex paths to filmmaking success. The Marc Davis Lecture was established to provide a forum for film animators and other experts in the craft to share their experiences as well as to explore with colleagues the challenges of creating animation for the screen.
The panel, entitled "Giants' First Steps", explored the student works and early careers of the participating directors. Clips from their student films were shown as part of the session. Among the panel participants were several Oscar® recipients and nominees including: Ron Clements, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Lima, Mike Mitchell, Chris Sanders, Henry Selick, David Silverman, and Kirk Wise. The panel was moderated by Randy Haberkamp of the Academy.
The Academy's first Marc Davis Lecture took place in 1994 with Davis himself, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men", as the inaugural participant in this lecture named in his honor. Davis' association with Walt Disney and the Disney Studio began in 1935.
Among the characters to whom Davis gave shape and life were "Bambi", "Brier Rabbit", "Cinderella", "Tinkerbell", "Maleficent" and "Cruella DeVil." He also did extensive preliminary work on a number of the attractions featured at the New York World's Fair, Disneyland, Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, including "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", "Pirates of the Caribbean", "It's a Small World" and "The Haunted Mansion."
Marc Davis died in Los Angeles after a brief illness on 12 January 2000, at the age of 86. His work continues to inspire new generations of artists.