We are sad to report that Disney Legend, animator, director, producer, and story artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Burny Mattinson passed away Monday, February 27, at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California, following a short illness. He was 87 years old.
Mattinson started at Disney working in the studio mail room as a “traffic boy” in 1953 where among his duties, he would hand deliver weekly checks of $300 to Walt Disney for Walt’s “walking around” money.
After a while, he was eventually promoted to be an animator in the animation department in the 1970s before becoming a story artist. During the 1980s, he directed and produced Mickey Mouse’s comeback featurette, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and the full-length feature, The Great Mouse Detective. Mattinson continued to work as a story on features from the Disney Renaissance, such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. His latest work was being head story artist for Winnie the Pooh.
In 2013, Mattinson celebrated 60 years with the Disney studio and was honored with a surprise recognition by John Lasseter at the animation presentation at that year’s D23 Expo. Recently, he has been trying to pitch a traditionally-animated feature starring Mickey Mouse.
In 2018, he became the longest-serving cast member of the Walt Disney Company. He was due to receive his 70th-anniversary service award (the first ever) on June 4.
The DisInsider sends their thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Mattinson at this time.