Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Breaking News: Roy Disney dead at 79

According to, Roy Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney and the last remaining link to Walt's legacy, has died after a long fight with cancer. He was 79.

The son of Roy O. Disney, who co-founded the Walt Disney Company in 1923 with brother Walt, Roy Disney worked for the studio for 56 years. In recent years he had been serving as a consultant after stepping down as the head of the Animation Department in 2003. During his tenure as director of Disney's famed animation arm, Roy spearheaded a return to classic animation and storytelling techniques, which culminated in a string of box office and critic hits including The Lion King, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid.

Roy left Disney after disputes over the direction the company was taking and though current animation honcho John Lasseter is today's most acclaimed creator as a result of his successes with Pixar, there's no question that Roy's death leaves a void that will be impossible to fill. Beyond his storytelling skills, which earned him two Oscar nominations, Roy's presence was a tangible reminder at all times of the company's storied past. In that role he often served as a guardian of the standards that his father and uncle set for the company, stepping in when necessary to right the ship.

It's a sad day indeed for Disney fans.

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