Today begins a new series on The Disney Obsession. I call it The Legends. These are the Disney Legends and this series will spotlight those people who have distinguished themselves among those who played a special part in bringing us the magic.
The Disney Legends program began in 1987 and so far it has honored 216 individuals. These are the animators, the vocal talents, the Imagineers, the film makers, musicians, and others who have worked to create the Disney experience for our enjoyment.
During 2008 I will focus on the Disney disciplines of Animation, Imagineering and Attractions, celebrating the birthdays of those people honored for their contributions in these areas. In future years we can explore other areas of creativity, and along the way we may celebrate a few birthdays of future Disney Legends.
Since I will offer only a brief sketch of the individuals celebrated I encourage you to visit the Disney Legends site and learn more about each person.
I can not think of a better way to begin a new series on The Legends than to begin with a Disney. To him, Uncle Walt was truly his father’s brother. Roy E. Disney was born in Los Angeles on January 10, 1930, the son Roy & Edna Disney. Young Roy enjoyed a life that most of us can only dream of and that was he had the opportunity to grow up around the studio.
Following his graduation from Pomona College he started his career as an assistant film editor and later joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1954 as an assistant editor on the True Life Adventure films.
Roy left the Studio in 1977 after 23 years to pursue other interests but returned in 1984 to serve as vice chair and head of animation. It was during his watch that Disney enjoyed what some call The 2nd Golden Age of Disney Animation with such current classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast and The Lion King. He also restored his uncle’s vision for Fantasia with the premier of Fantasia 2000 in December 1999.
Roy Edward Disney became a Disney Legend in 1998.
Photo: Wikipedia, Roy E. Disney article