Preston Blair was a native Californian from Redlands. He attended Pomona College, then studied art at the Otis Art Institute and illustration under Pruett Carter at Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts). He exhibited widely as a member of the California Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society in New York.
Blair was one of the fine artists of animation. With the Disney Studio, he designed and animated the hippos in "The Dance of the Hours" and animated Mickey Mouse in the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" (both in Fantasia), parts of Pinocchio, and the segment in Bambi when the owl tell about love in the "tiwitterpatted" speech.
At MGM, Blair directed Barney Bear shorts, and is well known as the animator and designer of Red Hot Riding Hood in the Tex Avery epic shorts. Later, Blair moved to Connecticut and produced television commercials, educational films, and half-hour cartoon episodes (including the Flinstones) for West Coast producers. More recently, he was an inventor of interactive TV systems using animation methods to teach reading or to provide full-figure game action that simulates reality--for example, playing tennis with an animated opponent.
Blair died in April 1995 at the age of 85.