Disney Animation Legend Burny Mattinson Passes Away At Age 87


Last week the entire animation community bowed its head in silence as one of Disney’s most notable names Burny Mattinson passed away following a brief illness. He was considered to be Disney’s longest serving cast member and was due to receive a 70th anniversary service award this June.

Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO Jennifer Lee released the following statement shortly after the announcement of his passing:

Burny’s artistry, generosity and love of Disney Animation and the generations of storytellers that have come through our doors, for seven decades, has made us better, better artists, better technologists and better collaborators. All of us who have had the honor to know him and learn from him will ensure his legacy carries on.

Mattinson began an interest with animation when he first saw Pinocchio at the age of 6. He would eventually join Disney at the age of 17 and worked as an in-between artist on Lady and the Tramp. He would continue to work as both an in-betweener and character artist on Paul Bunyan, Sleeping Beauty, Goliath II, 101 Dalmations, Sword in the Stone and Mary Poppins

He became a full time animator with the theatrical Winnie the Pooh shorts, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Robin Hood. He would then contribute to the story of films like The Rescuers, Pete’s Dragon, The Small One and The Fox and the Hound.

However, he is perhaps best known as the director, writer and producer on the 1983 classic short Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He would also co-direct on The Great Mouse Detective. He would then go on to contribute to almost every Disney Renaissance film from Beauty and the Beast to Tarzan.

He would take a 9 year hiatus are returned to help with Tinker Bell and would contribute to the 2011 Winnie the Pooh, Big Hero 6, Ralph Breats the Internet and Strange World.

In 2008 he was honored as a Disney Legend and worked at the company until his passing. He is considered one of Disney’s most decorated animators. Apparently he did everything he wanted to do except for a feature length Mickey Mouse film.

He will be dearly missed.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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