The legendary Burny Mattinson, a creative force in the world of Disney animation, has passed away at the venerable age of 87. A Disney Legend, animator, director, producer, and story artist, he was the longest-serving cast member in the annals of The Walt Disney Company. His memory will live on forever.

Disney announced with sorrow that on Monday, February 27, Burny Mattinson passed away at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California, following a brief and difficult battle with an unnamed illness.

Mattinson was due to be presented with his 70th anniversary service accolade, the inaugural bestowment from The Walt Disney Corporation, on June 4th, 2023.

He was still employed at Disney, as a story consultant and mentor right up until his death, and his many credits include being the director for Mickey’s Christmas Carol, a producer and co-director for The Great Mouse Detective, and artist on classics such as Lady and the Tramp, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, The Rescuers, Big Hero 6, Strange World, and many more.

He wasn’t only a member of the story team on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan and Mulan, but also supervised the 2011 Winnie the Pooh and offered assistance on the 2007 Goofy short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater.

Mattinson was born in San Francisco, California on May 13, 1935, instilling within him a passionate dream of joining the Disney family since his first viewing of Pinocchio in theaters at the cusp of his sixth birthday.

He would spend his days diligently sketching, honing his skills and striving to perfect his craft. Finally, after he had graduated high school, his mother drove him to Burbank and, with a single gesture, changed his life forever – she dropped him off at the entrance of the illustrious Disney studios.

A benevolent guard cast his eye over the adolescent’s collection and rang the head of HR. Mattinson was granted an interview and a new job, which included a stint in the mailroom. After a half year, and without any specialized art instruction, he began his role as an in-betweener for Lady and the Tramp.

He would ascend ever higher in the Disney hierarchy, proving instrumental in an array of departments. In 2008, he was bestowed an honor of the highest order when he was made a Disney Legend. On March 5, 2018, he cemented his status in the annals of Disney history when he surpassed the record set by the legendary John Hench of 64 years, eight months and twenty-nine days as the longest serving cast member.

Mattinson leaves behind his beloved wife, Ellen Siirola, and their two children, Brett and Genny. His passing has brought deep sorrow to their lives, as they must now face life without him.

Adam Bankhurst is a purveyor of news for IGN, so be sure to follow him on his social media accounts – @AdamBankhurst on Twitter and his Twitch channel.

By Game Critic

I'm John, an avid gaming enthusiast and passionate critic. Since I was a child, I have been enthralled by the captivating mechanics, visuals, and storytelling of video games. My blog, Game Critic, is the perfect place for gamers to stay up to date on the latest releases and gaming trends, as well as to discuss the different aspects of gaming culture. I'm devoted to bringing you the best analysis and opinions of the games I love.

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