A beloved Disney animator known for his work on Lady and the Tramp, The Lion King and other classics, has died after 70 years with the company.
Burny Mattinson, 87, was known as the longest-serving employee at The Walt Disney Company before he passed away from an undisclosed illness in Los Angeles on Monday, the company announced.
Mattinson reportedly received an award in June for his 70th year of service with the company and previously recalled that every day at Disney was like the first.
“Burny’s artistry, generosity and love for Disney Animation and the generations of storytellers who have passed through our doors for seven decades have made us better: better artists, better technologists and better collaborators,” Jennifer Lee, creative director, wrote. in a declaration of mourning.
At the time of his death, he was working full-time as a story consultant and mentor to pass on his legacy to modern movies.
Burny Mattinson, 87, was known as the longest-serving employee at The Walt Disney Company before he passed away from an undisclosed illness in Los Angeles on Monday.
Mattinson is known for his work on Lady and the Tramp, The Lion King, and other classics. He worked at the company for 70 years.
Born in 1935, Mattinson once recalled seeing Pinocchio in theaters at the age of six and instantly knew he wanted to work for Disney.
“Ever since I saw that movie, this was my dream: to work in this business,” Mattinson previously said, according to the Walt Disney Company. ‘So, I worked every day, drawing.’
At the age of 12, he mastered Disney’s famous graphics and built his portfolio before applying for a job with the company after graduating from high school.
Mattinson’s legacy with the company began with one of his early classics in 1955, Lady and the Tramp. She later went on to work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Rescuers and more.
The animation mastermind helped cultivate beloved films that serve as cherished childhood memories for many people.
He also worked on the story teams for the films Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Mulan, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
“He literally did everything that could be done at the studio: animator, animator, story artist, producer and director of many films that left an indelible mark on our collective appreciation of the spirit of Disney,” wrote animator Eric Goldberg. it’s a statement. .
One of his first projects that he worked on alone was the cherished film Mickey’s Christmas Carol released in 1983.
Mattinson started at Disney around the age of 18. He initially worked in the mailroom before moving up as an entertainer.
The animation mastermind helped cultivate beloved films that serve as cherished childhood memories for many people. In the photo: a scene from The Lion King.
His desire to work at Disney began when he was six years old. He mastered generic Disney charts when he was 12 years old. Pictured: The Jungle Book movie Mattinson worked on
Mattinson also worked on One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which was released in 1961.
Several of Mattinson’s colleagues recalled being impressed and inspired by his creativity.
Mattinson didn’t immediately become an animator for the company, but his journey began around age 18 when he drove to Disney’s Burbank studio with his bag.
He was then interviewed and hired for a mailroom job for six months before working on the production of Lady and the Tramp. He also worked alongside Walt Disney himself before the iconic mastermind behind the company died in 1966.
“When he started, he was also Walt’s traffic boy, giving Walt his cash for weekly expenses,” Goldberg said.
Slowly, he worked his way through the company without any formal art training.
Later in his career, Mattinson worked as a mentor to pass his creativity on to younger employees creating new Disney movies.
Goldberg recalled first working with Mattinson on the film Aladdin and being impressed by his creativity.
“His storyboards were beautifully rendered and wonderfully atmospheric, which I first encountered when I joined the Aladdin studio,” said Goldberg.
‘The more I saw of his work, the more I was in awe of his breadth of talent. I value his light-hearted friendship and his enduring inspiration to me and many other animation artists. He will be missed but not forgotten.’
Mattinson reportedly received an award in June for his 70th year of service to the company and previously recalled that every day at Disney was like the first.
The movie Pinocchio inspired him to want to work for Disney when he was only six years old. He once remembered the day his mother took him to the cinema to see the movie.
In 2008, Mattinson earned the title of Disney Legend after spending decades with the company. He initially broke the record as the longest-serving employee in 2018 after Disney artist John Hench, who spent more than 64 years with the company.
Although Mattinson was well past retirement age, he continued to work for the hell of it.
‘I mean, 50 years is a long time, but I still feel like that 18-year-old who came here in ’53, you know? I never feel like I’ve aged,” he previously said in response to spending more than half a century with the company.
The iconic entertainer left behind his wife Ellen Siirola and their two children and grandchildren.