Clements spoke about his 45-year career at Disney, working on productions from “The Rescuers” to “Moana”. He recalled visiting the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City at age nine and seeing “Pinocchio,” which inspired his career.
“I became obsessed with that movie. I drew the characters and drew the characters and I went back to see it again until it left,” Clements says. “It played for two weeks. Popular movies played for two weeks. Some movies only played one week. Once it was gone, it was gone, because we didn’t have video back then.” Clements says he knew at that young age he wanted to be an animator for Disney. Having done exactly that, Clements, now 65, looks back over a long career. He says Hollywood and New York may be far from Iowa, but ambition and drive go a long way.
“For anybody who wants to do things like that, certainly it’s possible and it’s not easy,” Clements says. “You’ve got to work hard and it’s good to be focused.” During his talk, Clements showed some behind-the-scenes clips of working at Disney. Earlier in the week, he visited his alma mater Bishop Heelan High School, where he spoke with students and drew sketches of some of his characters.
The Sioux City International Film Festival concluded on Sunday.
(Thanks to Katie Peikes, Iowa Public Radio)