Longest-Serving Disney Animator Passes Away at 87
It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of beloved Disney Legend, Director, and Story Artist Burny Mattinson. You made our world a happier place and inspired generations of artists with your heart, humor, and storytelling. Thank you for your legacy, Burny. pic.twitter.com/FLTjxcfw5X— Disney Animation (@DisneyAnimation) February 27, 2023
Burny Mattinson, the longest-serving cast member of The Walt Disney Company and a Disney Legend, has passed away at the age of 87. Disney announced that Mattinson died on Monday, February 27, at the Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California, after a brief illness.
Mattinson was set to receive his 70th-anniversary service award, which would have been the first given out by The Walt Disney Company, in June 2023. He was still working full-time as a story consultant and mentor at Disney before his passing. Mattinson had an extensive career as an animator, director, producer, and story artist, and worked on several Disney classics such as Lady and the Tramp, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, and The Rescuers, as well as more recent films like Big Hero 6 and Strange World. He was also a member of the story team for Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, and Mulan.
Born in San Francisco in 1935, Mattinson’s lifelong dream was to work at Disney. He began his career in the mailroom and eventually worked his way up the ranks, becoming a Disney Legend in 2008. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Siirola, and his two children, Brett and Genny.