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Edward Robert "Ted" Sears Jr. was an animator and story writer for Disney during its early years. As his writing partner, Winston Hibler, once put it, "Perhaps Ted's greatest talent was his own unique brand of humor. It was warm, gentle humor; there was never a barb in it. And his was the key, to Ted's whole personality. He was the kindest man I ever knew. He lived with laughter and without malice. He was generous in all things. His talents could be had for the asking. No job was too small, none too big. And this all adds up to the fact that through his talents and his personal virtues. Ted was able to achieve two of the goals he set for himself in life: he made good pictures and he made good friends."

Born in 1900, he spent most of his childhood in New York where he attended a trade school and became a sign painter to help support his family and later lettered title cards for silent movies, worked with trick photography, drew ads, and even made props for early two-reel comedies. He even came up with plot ideas and gags for silent film comic, Charlie Bowers. He eventually joined Max Fleischer's organization where he contributed story ideas as well as animation.

In 1931, Walt Disney hired Ted on a long term contract not as an animator but as a senior writer, (the head of Disney Story Department) and in the twenty-seven years that followed no one ever challenged his position. He was responsible for writing dialogue and story lines for virtually every important production the Disney Studio, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. He also co-wrote narration for many of the Disney nature films with Winston Hibler, and later did a number of the Disney TV shows.

As part of the Disney's company's original story department he is one of the men attributed in the creation of storyboarding now an industry standard for not just animated film but also live action.

Sears died in 1958 during which, he worked on the story for Sleeping Beauty which was released the following year. He was survived by his wife Violet, who passed in 1976, and his daughter, Cindy who was interviewed in regards to her father's role in Walt's goodwill tour of South America for the documentary, Walt & El Grupo.


Year Film Position
1932 Babes in the Woods Story - uncredited
1933 Birds in the Spring Writer - uncredited
1933 Three Little Pigs Writer - uncredited
"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" lyricist
1933 The Pied Piper Story - uncredited
1934 The Big Bad Wolf Writer - uncredited
1935 The Cookie Carnival Writer - uncredited
1935 Music Land Writer - uncredited
1936 Elmer Elephant Writer - uncredited
1936 Mother Pluto Writer - uncredited
1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Story Adaptation
1940 Pinocchio Story Adaptation
1941 The Reluctant Dragon Screenplay
1942 Saludos Amigos Story Research
"Aquarela do Brasil" Writer
1944 The Three Caballeros Story
1947 Fun and Fancy Free Story
1948 Melody Time Story
1948 So Dear to My Heart Adaptation
1949 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Story
"The Wind in the Willows" Writer
1950 Cinderella Story
1950 In Beaver Valley Screenplay
1951 Alice in Wonderland Story
Songwriter (uncredited): "Smoke the Blighter Out"
"You Are Old, Father William"
1951 Nature's Half Acre Script
1952 Water Birds Screenplay
1952 The Olympic Elk Script
1953 Peter Pan Story
Lyrics: "Following the Leader" - uncredited
1953 The Alaskan Eskimo Writer
1953 The Living Desert Screenplay
1953 Ben and Me Story Adaptation
1954 The Vanishing Prairie Screenplay
1954 Siam Writer
1954-1960 The Magical World of Disney Writer
1955 The African Lion Writer
1956 Sardinia Writer
1959 Sleeping Beauty Additional Story
Lyrics: "I Wonder" - uncredited
(Posthumous release)


  • His sister-in-law, Irene, was the Disney family nurse for many years attending to both Walt's brother and mother
  • Sears had initially provided the voice of the titular character in Pinocchio before the character was reimagined and child actor Dickie Jones was cast as the voice of the character instead.
  • He appeared on-screen in the documentary South of the Border with Disney.


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Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf TenggrenMary BlairMarjorie RalstonLillian BoundsJoe GrantMel ShawClaude CoatsDon DaGradiJohn HenchEyvind EarleKen O'ConnorThor PutnamAlbert HurterJohn HubleyHerbert RymanDon GriffithBasil DavidovichJack BoydPeter EllenshawRuthie TompsonEarl DuvallRetta DavidsonUb IwerksVance GerryHazel SewellJames BodreroLance NolleyGrace BaileyMaurice NobleDale BarnhartAndy EngmanEustace LycettJohn EmersonJoe HaleLeota ToombsFerdinand Horvath
Storyboard Artists and Writers: Bill PeetRalph WrightDick HuemerFloyd NormanYale GraceyTed SearsErdman PennerJoe RinaldiWinston HiblerOtto EnglanderWilliam CottrellBill BergAl BertinoT. HeeHomer BrightmanTed OsbourneLarry ClemmonsHarry ReevesJesse MarshChuck CouchWebb SmithDick Sebast
Directors: Clyde GeronimiHamilton LuskeJack KinneyTed BermanRichard RichGeorge ScribnerRiley ThomsonDick LundyJack KingBurt GillettJames AlgarBill RobertsLarry LansburghRichard Irvine
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Renaissance Directors: Rob MinkoffRoger AllersGary TrousdaleKirk WiseChris SandersMark DindalJohn Musker

Story Trust Directors: Ron ClementsChris BuckByron HowardDon HallChris WilliamsRich MooreStephen J. AndersonNathan GrenoFawn Veerasunthorn
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Chief Creative Officer: Jennifer Lee
Associated Figures: Bob IgerRoy Edward DisneyMichael EisnerJohn LasseterEd CatmullJeffrey KatzenbergBob Chapek
Signature Voice Actors: Jim CummingsAlan TudykKatie LowesJohn DiMaggioMaurice LaMarcheJodi BensonDavid Ogden StiersJesse CortiPaul BriggsRaymond S. PersiPhil JohnstonFrank WelkerBill FarmerBrian Cummings
Signature Musicians: Robert B. Sherman Richard M. Sherman Alan Menken Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert LopezLin-Manuel MirandaHoward AshmanTim RicePhil CollinsStephen SchwartzMarc ShaimanDanny Troob
Supervising Animators: Glen KeaneAndreas DejaEric GoldbergMark HennJohn PomeroyRandy HaycockDale BaerTony BancroftTom BancroftTony FucileAnthony DeRosaRuss EdmondsRandy HaycockBruce W. SmithDuncan MarjoribanksRuben AquinoNik RanieriRon HusbandRick FarmiloeTom SitoTony AnselmoWill FinnKathy Zielinski
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Dean DeBloisClaire KeaneBrittney LeeJin KimShiyoon KimRyan Green