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Charlie Thorson: Home

Charlie Thorson fonds

View a digitized sample of Charlie Thorson's work 

View a description and detailed finding aid for the Charlie Thorson fonds

Charles Gustav Thorson was born in Winnipeg in 1890. Charlie Thorson was a seminal figure in the development of animation in the United States and Canadian children’s literature. Beginning with political cartoons for local Icelandic language newspapers, his drawing career encompassed work in several fields and disciplines. He illustrated Eaton’s catalogues at the noted Canadian art studio Brigden’s, designed and developed characters at nearly every major Hollywood animation studio of the pre-World War II era, worked extensively in commercial and industrial advertising, and made some of the first attempts to develop Canadian children’s literature. Among his many accomplishments, Thorson has been credited for designing beloved animated characters Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Bugs Bunny. He died in Haney, British Columbia in 1966.


Until fairly recently, with the publication of Gene Walz’s illustrated biography, Thorson’s work and life, as well as his prominent role in developing modern popular art forms in North America, has been largely neglected. This virtual exhibit is designed to give a long needed overview of his life and career and make him known and understood to a new generation of researchers and admirers.

For further information on the life and work of Charlie Thorson, see:


Note: To view the digitized material in the Charlie Thorson fonds you will have to enable pop-up windows on your computer's web browser.

If using Internet Explorer (XP SP2), Go to "Tools"|"Pop-up Blocker"|"Turn Off Pop-up Blocker" OR Keep the Control (Ctrl) keypressed down while clicking on the links to the digitized material.
If using Mozilla Firefox, Go to "Tools"|"Options"|"Web Features" and uncheck "Block Popup Windows."
If using Safari, Go to "Safari"|"Block Pop-up Windows" and make sure that menu option is unchecked.
You may also have to remove your Google toolbar which also contains a pop-up blocker.  To do so, access "Control Panel" in "My Computer", select "Add or Remove Programs", and select "Google Toolbar".