Toby Bluth

Toby Bluth
Born Frederick L. Bluth
(1940-07-11)July 11, 1940
Texas, United States
Died October 31, 2013(2013-10-31) (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Painter, animator, background artist, production designer, theater/film director

Frederick L. "Toby" Bluth (July 11, 1940 – October 31, 2013) was a Texas-born American illustrator who worked on many Disney films and others as animator, Background artist and Production designer.[1] He had a long career writing and illustrating children's books,[2] not to mention performing and or directing, nearly one hundred musicals, both on Broadway and off.[3] His artwork is prominently displayed at most of the Disney theme parks around the world. He was the younger brother of Don Bluth, whom he collaborated with on both theater and animation.


Bluth noted Gustaf Tenggren, whom Walt Disney actively recruited to work on the breakthrough film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs[4] as being a big inspiration throughout his career.[3] When asked how he approached each of his watercolor masterpieces, Toby described his intent as

"Creating the moment that you think you saw ... How one remembers a film is often different from the actual film itself."[5]

The use of chiaroscuro was apparent in Bluth's work. These subtle variations of light and shade create depth, life and warm, yet cool shadows to each scene. This lends a heightened delineation of character and allows his subjects much more of a unique, almost animated, existence within the painting.


He died on October 31, 2013 in Los Angeles, California following a stroke.[6]


Film Year Credit
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers 2004 Art Director
The Tigger Movie 2000 Additional Background Artist / Stylest
Babes in Toyland 1997 Director / Lyricist / Background Designer / Character Designer
The Story of Santa Claus 1996 Director
Alvin & the Chipmunks 1983 Character Designer / Production Designer
The Smurfs 1981 Background Stylist
A Chipmunk Christmas 1981 Production Designer
Banjo the Woodpile Cat 1979 Writer (uncredited)


  2. Books written and illustrated by Toby Bluth:
    • Bluth, Toby (ed.) (1995). Disney's Cinderella: Dreams Do Come True (First ed.). Mouse Works. ISBN 978-1-57082-242-1.
    • Bluth, Toby (ed.) (1994). Disney's Dopey Loses the Diamonds (First ed.). Mouse Works. ISBN 978-1-57082-150-9.
    • Bluth, Toby (ed.) (1994). Snow White's Escape (First ed.). Mouse Works. ISBN 978-1-57082-153-0.
    • Bluth, Toby (ed.) (1985). Tenderfoot (First ed.). Children's Press. ISBN 978-0-516-09166-2.
    • Bluth, Toby (ed.) (1983). Siegfried's Silent Night (First ed.). Ideals Children's Books. ISBN 978-0-8249-8059-7.
  3. 1 2 "Toby Bluth at ED Chasen Fine Art". Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
  4. "Gustaf Tenggren IMDb profile". Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
  5. "ART THAT MOVES THE HEART - Toby Bluth". Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
  6. "Toby Bluth R.I.P." - article by Jerry Beck on Animation Scoop; November 6, 2013; retrieved November 6, 2013.
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