Choco Bear’s first portrait

Written by Choco Bear

Disney illustrator Bob Moore with a CHOC patient.
Disney illustrator Bob Moore with a CHOC patient.

One of the coolest things to happen to me since I started hanging around CHOC Children’s is getting my portrait professionally drawn.

Through the decades, a couple different versions of my likeness have been featured at CHOC, but the most special is the original drawing created by Disney artist Bob Moore.

More than 50 years ago, Bob first drew my portrait, expertly capturing my happy smile and arm bandage.

“I didn’t want to make him a scary bear for the kids, and I thought the bandage would be cute, something the children would remember,” Bob said. “The bandage was placed on the left arm, to be closest to the heart.”

Vintage choco
Choco’s original look

The Disney connection should come as no surprise given that Walt Disney served on CHOC’s original board of directors. And the influence is pretty visible in my original portrait: Do those ears remind you of anyone else you might know?

According to Bob’s biography on the official Disney fan club website, he first joined Disney in 1940 as an illustrator apprentice. Later, Bob created promotional images for Disney movies and theme parks.

And fittingly for his work with CHOC, Bob was also an M.D. – well, sort of.

He was the only Disney artist to have these initials added after his last name. They stand for “mouse drawer.”

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