Dave Hand was given a group of fledglings and then later Walt made him a director, and-I can see Dave Hand reading this and thinking, “Well, what the hell? Wasn’t there anybody else in the Studio besides me?” He left the Studio to take this big job in England and that failed, so he never got back in circulation again. The most I ever heard was that he worked with some movie company in Colorado Springs.

Ben Sharpsteen
David Hand

David Dodd Hand, also known as Dave Hand, was an American animator, director, and producer, born on January 23, 1900, in Plainfield, New Jersey, and passing away on October 11, 1986, in San Luis Obispo, California. He began his career with Max Fleischer in 1919, before joining the Disney Studios in 1930. Hand contributed to numerous Silly Symphonies, starting with Autumn in 1930. Alongside Ben Sharpsteen, Hand mentored apprentice teams, playing a crucial role in training early Disney animators. In 1932, he became a full-time director, working on projects like Trader Mickey until leaving Disney in 1944. He then helped establish Gaumont British Animation in the UK, where he served as a producer until 1950. Hand was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend in 1994 for his significant contributions to animation.

According to archivist Dave Smith when he interviewed Ben Sharpsteen in 1974, David Hand would not talk to interviewers then.


This is an interview of the director’s son, David Hale Hand, who wrote a biography of his father: “Animation Pioneer – David Dodd Hand”, available on amazon. Click on this link to buy the book: I may get a small percentage to help me with this otherwise free website).