Ub Iwerks – Research

For our pecha kucha presentation my group was given Ub Iwerks…what a man.


Ub Iwerks was a man of innovation who is often overlooked and forgotten when it comes to Walt Disney’s success. Iwerks is responisble for the use of the ‘squash and stretch’ technique used in animation, he was also a genius inventor; being the first to develop the sodium vapor process which allows live action and animation to be seen simulatenously.

The sodium vapor technique was used extesively in Mary Poppins (images above) and later in other classics such as, Song of the South, Petes Dragon, Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

“The Hand Behind the Mouse” is a book written by Iwerks granddaughter, Leslie Iwerks. It details some of his personal life but the main focus is on his work as an animator and inventor. Most information we had gathered from documentaries can be found in this book which led us to believe the documentation research might have mainly been taken from this source.


Above presents Iwerks animation which holds the title of being the first animated cartoon with both sound and colour. Iwerks had produced this piece whilst running his own ‘Iwerks’ studio.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-08-41-54A list of his inventions have been published above in the same book, (cited below).

Due to his influence on the aniamtion industry, much homage has been paid to his name.


In ‘The Simpsons’ episode named ‘The day the violence died’, Ub Iwerks story  is portrayed through the character of a ‘bum’ who was origianlly the main creator of Itchy the mouse. From the still above you can decipher your own take on their view of the happenings between Disney and Iwerks.


Above is an image of the character Doctor UB’x which DC Comics created in honour of Iwerks in 1986.

Iwerks, L. and Kenworthy, J. (2001). The hand behind the mouse. 1st ed. New York: Disney Editions.

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