The world of animation has lost one of it’s greatest and most passionate individuals. Roy E Disney, nephew to Walt Disney lost his year long battle with stomach cancer and died yesterday, 16th December, aged 79.
Roy will always be remembered as the man who twice stepped in and prevented the Disney corporation from being consumed by their own greed and success. He twice ousted Directors who no longer had the companies best interests at heart, and he resurrected the dying company from the embers of what it had once been into the creator of such modern classics as Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.
Born just one year after Steamboat Willie was such a huge success for the company, Roy has been a Disney legend and an animation stalwart for his entire life. When he was a child he was often invited in by his Uncle and Father (Walt and Roy O Disney, the 2 founders of the studio) to judge whether they were appealing to their target audience. He ousted Walt’s Son-in-law Frank Miller when he felt that the studio was not being true to his Uncle’s wishes, and he ousted Mike Eisner when he became a power hungry, money obsessed and possibly slightly crazy (check out Disney Wars) beast.
Roy was the corporation’s last link with their founders, and to the end he remained his Uncle’s voice; their Jiminy Cricket, whistling at the new custodians if they were deviating from the legacy that Walt and Roy O left.
“On behalf of everyone at Disney, we are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Roy E. Disney. Roy’s commitment to the art of animation was unparalleled and will always remain his personal legacy and one of his greatest contributions to Disney’s past, present and future.” Bob Iger