Images Credit: D23 / Cartoon Brew

Norma Swank-Haviland, Disney Animator & Voice Actor, Passes Away

Norma Swank-Haviland, a former talented Disney animator and voice actor for the beloved Disney character Chip of Chip ‘n’ Dale, passed away in early April 2022 at the age of 97-years-old.

Credit: CartoonBrew

According to a report from Cartoon Brew, The Three Caballeros (1944) was her very first Walt Disney Studios feature work where she was noted saying, “That particular picture had a lot of feathers. That was a little difficult for a beginning painter with all those little pointy things!”

Swank-Haviland’s talents grew with the Walt Disney Studios from animator art to voice acting work. She was known for the early voice of Chip, Disney fans’ favorite black-nosed chipmunk. Chip ‘n’ Dale debuted in 1943 with a short called Private Pluto which later grew to more Chip ‘n’ Dale theatrical shorts in the mid-1940s.

Credit: Disney

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Swank-Haviland’s voice was also used in Casey at the Bat (1946), the mice of Cinderella (1950), and singing on Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1959).

Even though the voice of Chip is normally credited to Jimmy MacDonald (the head of the sound effect department at the time), women such as Norma Swank-Haviland from the animation department were commonly used to perform voices that went uncredited in the films. Both MacDonald’s and Swank-Haviland’s voices can be heard in Chip ‘n’ Dale shorts of the 1940s-50s.

Here’s a clip with Swank-Haviland’s voice as Chip:

The talented artist and voice actor was noted as saying, “The main thing I was most proud of, was the fact that I was at Disney. I was doing motion picture work and I’ve always been a motion picture buff… I still am very proud of the fact that I worked at Disney.”

Sadly, Swank-Haviland was one of the last surviving artists who worked at Walt Disney Studios during the 1940s. She retired from Disney in 1971. We’re thankful for all the amazing works she left behind!

About Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and RunDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 16 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.