Google Doodle today celebrates the 108th birthday of Asian American artist Tyrus Wong. Wong is a Chinese-born American artist widely known for some of the most prominent images in the American pop culture. One of the most influential work of Wong was in Bambi, a 1942 Disney film where he was the lead production illustrator.
Tyrus Wong was born Wong Gen Yeo in a village in southern China’s Guangdong Province on October 25, 1910. Tyrus traveled to America with his father when he was 10-year-old and started living in Sacramento, before settling down in Los Angeles. Today’s Google Doodle by Sophie Diao paints a picture about the life and legacy of Wong.
As a teenager, Wong drew inspiration from Chinese artists of the Song Dynasty and he later applied his unique vision to paintings and prints. While Wong started to practice calligraphy using water and newspapers, he was introduced to his favorite paintings and Chinese art at the Los Angeles Central Library. He earned a scholarship to the Otis Art Institute during junior high school and formed the Oriental Artists’ Group of Los Angeles along with fellow artists like Benji Okubo and Hideo Date.
Wong started as an “inbetweener” intern with Walt Disney Studios in 1938 and went on to work for Warner Brothers. Some of his recognized works include The Wild Bunch, Sands of Iwo Jima, and Rebel Without A Cause and he earned Academy Award nominations for all these films. Wong’s contribution to the industry was recognized when he was named as a ‘Disney Legend’ in 2001.
“Today’s Doodle was heavily inspired by Tyrus’ paintings of forests, which are atmospheric, blurry, and magical. They feel like distant memories that have been committed to paper. I tried to imbue the Doodle with this dreamy feeling too,” Sophie Diao writes in a blog post.
In this doodle, Google notes that animation coloring assistance was provided by Alyssa Winans and Cynthia Cheng while Louie Zong created the music. Colin Duffy produced the YouTube video, showing Wong’s work with style consultant Kevin Laughlin. The search giant also notes that the doodle has its reach in North and South America, India and few other Asia Pacific countries.