In early 1960, Ray Bradbury's short story “Icarus Montgolfier Wright” was adapted into a screenplay for an animated short. Joseph Mugnaini was chosen to create all the artwork for the film.
Over a two-year period, Joe created thousands of sketches and more than 300 oil paintings. His art gave wing to the screenplay.
Written a decade before the Apollo mission, Ray’s story depicted with surprising accuracy the first manned flight to the moon. Icarus Montgolfier Wright was an animated gem, and its unique nature caught the attention of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1962 but didn't win. Within a decade, prints and negatives were lost or damaged. Eventually, Icarus vanished.
After an 18-month search stretching from Washington, DC to Wellington, New Zealand, I recovered more than a dozen prints as well as a cache of production material. Many of the prints suffered through the years; some with complete dye fade, others badly scratched and damaged from poor handling.
The best candidates were digitally scanned, and using Resolve, Nuke, and Photoshop the restoration continues with the hope of introducing Icarus to a new generation of animation fans.