William Luckey (1934 - 2018) was an animator, known for his work at Pixar, who directed SESAME STREET animated inserts beginning in 1971, including a total of 14 COUNTing films. Luckey composed the songs for these shorts, notably "The Alligator King", in collaboration with co-lyricist Don Hadley, & provided the balladeer-style vocals for some of the entries. The music for these shorts was provided by jazz legend Turk Murphy & his band with Luckey playing banjo.
Luckey was born & raised in Billings, Montana, & following a stint in the Air Force during the Korean War, moved to Los Angeles to attend the Chouinard Art Institute (now Cal Arts). He began his career as an inbetweener for Disney animator Art Babbitt’s commercial studio. After a short stint animating on The Alvin Show in 1961, Luckey moved to San Francisco, working as an art director for television ads. While in San Francisco, Luckey created his SESAME STREET segments. He also served as an animator on long-time-friend Fred Wolf’s 1974 feature The Incredible Adventures of the Mouse & His Child.
From 1968 to 1984, Luckey owned & managed an animation studio, where he animated & directed commercials, then spent 2 years working on early computer based educational games. In 1986, he joined Colossal Pictures in San Francisco as animator, director & trainer/mentor. He then joined Pixar in 1992, after being recruited by friend & future Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter. Luckey is credited with designing Woody & other characters for Toy Story 3, & worked as a designer & artist on most of the studio’s films through Toy Story. Luckey also wrote, directed, & provided the vocals on the 2004 Oscar nominated short Boundin’, & was heard in the Pixar feature film from the same year, The Incredibles, as government official Rick Dicker. Luckey also lent his voice to Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3, & Eeyore in Disney’s 2011 film Winnie the Pooh.
"About thirty years, I’d done some SESAME STREET stuff with a friend of mine, Don Hadley. I like to think these days that thirty years ago, I used animation to teach kids their numbers, & now these kids are teaching me how to animate with numbers. So it was a good deal."
SESAME STREET filmographyEdit
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