The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archives has recently been posting a slew of wonderful material from their Clair Weeks collection, including this entry on Weeks’ role in jump starting the Indian animation industry. Weeks’ career is a fascinating one, as after 16 years at Disney (where his credits ranged from Snow White to Peter Pan), he went to India as part of the American Technical Co-Operation Mission, where he set up the country’s first animation studio for Information Films of India. The image above shows Weeks at work during the production of the studio’s first effort, The Banyan Deer. The posting also includes a Quicktime version of a silent film showing the studio (and Weeks) at work on the film.
Weeks was born and raised in India the son of missionaries; and because of this he apparently felt more at home there than in the United States. Given this background, it is probably no surprise that:
What started as a one year project expanded into almost a decade of service abroad working for the US Agency for International Development. Weeks toured Southeast Asia and headed up a [communications] office in Katmandu, Nepal. He made films and audio-visual programs that aided in the social development and economic growth of third world countries.