Milton Quon, 105-year-old Disney animator who worked on Fantasia and Dumbo, died of natural causes at his home in Torrance, Ca. on June 18. Whereas Oscar winner composer-arranger Sid Ramin (100-year-old), a longtime associate of Leonard Bernstein, also died of natural causes on Monday (July 1) at his home in New York City, reported Variety.com.
Milton Quon’s son told Variety that his father was drawing up until his last days.
He joined Disney in 1939 and was the third Chinese American to be hired by the studio. His first work as an assistant animator was in Dumbo. He had also worked on the Waltz of the Flowers and the Arabian Dance scenes in Fantasia.
During World War 2, Milton Quon headed a team of artists to work on the illustrations for repair manuals for its planes after which he had returned to Disney and worked in the publicity/promotions department.
After leaving Disney he had joined as the Art director in BBD&O in 1951. Till 1964, he worked as the senior design artist at Sealright Co. until his retirement in 1980. From 1974 to 1989, he taught drawing, painting and advertising courses at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.
The Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles presented a retrospective exhibit of his work in 2005. He received the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in 2013. He was also featured in a father and son art exhibition in Red Bank, New Jersey.
Sid Ramin started his early days of live television, arranging for Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theatre from 1948 to 1956. In 1953, he began working on Broadway with Bernstein’s Wonderful Town. When Bernstein discovered that Ramin was on the project, it became a happy coincidence for them. “He thrived on explaining things to me, and I just devoured every word,” Ramin said.
In Bernstein’s and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story, Ramin had played as the orchestrator. This also launched as the second career for him. He further had played as an orchestrator in dozens of musicals, including Jule Styne-Sondheim show Gypsy in 1959, Cy Coleman’s Wildcat in 1960, Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1962 and Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner’s ill-fated 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1976.
In the ’60s and ’70s, his main occupation was writing and arranging commercial jingles. One of the jingles which immensely got popular was Come Alive (You’re in the Pepsi Generation).