Send Your Love to Disney Legend Bill Justice

Bill Justice
Bill Justice working on “A Symposium on Popular Songs.” From Miehana’s Flickr.

If you’re a fan of Disney legend Bill Justice, here’s your chance to show your appreciation. Disney historian Jim Korkis recently told MousePlanet.com:

Bill Justice is getting ready to celebrate his 96th Birthday February 9th, but he’s been in a rehabilitation home for the last few years and visitation has been tightly restricted. A good friend of mine who is a talented Disney artist recently visited him and said Bill had difficulty remembering recent events but if the artist mentioned a name from the “Golden Age” of Disney, Bill perked up and his memories were clear as a bell.

Bill hasn’t been in the best of spirits so it has been requested that it would be nice for him to get some holidays cards and of course, some birthday cards, to let him know that he hasn’t been forgotten.

For those unfamiliar with Bill’s many accomplishments, he is probably best known for his animation on the characters Chip’n'Dale and for his early work programming audio-animatronics on such attractions as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion”. He was the one who designed the recently closed attraction, the “Mickey Mouse Revue” and painted the huge mural of characters in Exposition Hall at Walt Disney World. Basically, his accomplishments were enough to fill a book…and they did in the limited edition self-published “Justice for Disney” book he authored.

Bill has been a long time friend of the Disney fan community and has attended many conventions, cruise ship excursions, and other events often drawing Disney characters on paper plates and then tossing them like frisbees into the crowd.

It is being requested that Disney fans show their love by sending him a card or letter (remember that he won’t be able to respond or fill a request for artwork) and perhaps include a photo that may have been taken with him. Something to remind him of his impact and how he is still very much loved and appreciated.

Bill is one of the few remaining connections to people who actually worked with Walt and Bill’s contributions include not just animation but work at the Disney theme parks.

The address is:
Bill Justice
Arbor View Wellness & Rehabilitation Center
1338 20th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

(Thanks, Jason Groh)


  • Melissa Justice (Bill’s daughter)

    My dad has been at Arborview for quite a few years. Abandoned there by his so-called wife Kim. (I have proof) Anyone can go see him and I hope you do. My dad has lived a long time and I know it means a lot to him for people to come visit. He may not remember much or talk very well but a nice warm smile from family and friends works wonders.

    • Steve

      Hi Melissa,
      I have some of your dad’s things that you may like, photo’s
      I would like to know how to get a hold of you.

    • snowht

      Melissa, your Dad was a friend of mine for many years. He taught me a lot about classic animation and “the good old days” at the studio. I still have a cloth napkin where he took a Magic Marker and drew each Dwarf + SW perfectly! I admired his talent and felt privileged to call him friend. In the case of “wife” Kim…I couldn’t agree more. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to California for his funeral. We did have fun at his 90th birthday party in spite of his loving “wife”. Your Dad was appreciated and admired by many. You have a lot to be proud of.

  • Paul N

    I met Bill once and have an autographed Chip & Dale drawing, thanks to Jim Korkis. Glad to hear he’s still with us, and I’ll definitely be sending him a card.

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    I wish we could’ve done something like this when some of the other old timers were still around. :(

  • Bill Turner

    He was given ASIFA-Hollywood’s Winsor McCay Award a few years ago. The reel showing his work was one of those “Wow, I didn’t know he did that!” moments. He animated Thumper and directed the animated opening of the Mickey Mouse Club. In the 1950′s he turned to stop motion, garnering 3 academy award nominations. He also animated the stop motion titles for the Parent Trap and the “Spoon Full of Sugar” stop motion in Mary Poppins. Very talented in so many ways.

  • Brian Mitchell

    Bill Justice is one of my heroes. One day about ten years back, I called Bill to tell him how much I appreciated his work on the opening sequence for The 1955 Mickey Mouse Club and how much it inspired me in my career path. He sincerely thanked me for calling and remarked that the call really brightened his day.

    • don

      Brian

      I’m an old old old family friend. My grandparents, Ferg Ferguson and Mary Lou, plus mom Jo Deane Ferguson (Burdge) all worked together and ate dinner together when I was a kid. In fact I remember when Bill’s daughter Mellissa got her first commercial and was making money…as a kid I was jealous. Can you give me a phone or email for Kim or Mellissa or have them call or email me please. Don Burdge 619-804-8033

  • Willy Hartland

    Thanks Amid for posting this.
    I’ll write Bill a letter.
    I love the stop motion work he and X Atencio did
    on “Symposium for Popular Songs.”
    I’m a huge fan of the Pirate dark ride at Disneyland too.
    cheers,

    Willy Hartland

  • mrgroh

    He also Directed the stylish and beautiful A COWBOY NEEDS A HORSE and the inventive stop motion NOAH’S ARK”
    My son and I watch them all the time and love every minute!
    Thanks Bill!

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    Thanks for the heads up with this; I never think to look up important birthdays or events to commemorate artists like Bill, and it’s time I show some appreciation.

  • http://www.tomsito.com Tom Sito

    Thanks Amid for posting this. I believe Bill Justice is probably the last living Disney animator of the Golden Age generation.
    And most old artists do love to get letters from their fans. It makes you feel much less forgotten.

  • http://joeyblog.com Joey Ellis

    Thanks for sharing this opportunity Amid. While I’ve never met him, it’s certainly nice to have a chance to thank a Disney legend and inspiration.

  • Grayson Ponti

    This is quite an opportunity! I’m still pretty young so I havent met that many people in animation but im gonna send Bill Justice a birtday card 4 sure.

  • Chris D.

    I will be writing as well. When people are apart of something that had a direct impact on your life, you don’t get many chances to say thanks. This will my small way to do so.

  • Mike Caracappa

    For anyone who owns the Disney Animation Archive Series book, there is an unbelievably amazing animation sequence by Justice (Pg 102-109) where Goofy is trying to unknot his gloves from a golf club. I’ve only come to know who he is after seeing that sequence of drawings, but if you really want to see how gifted he was, pick up a copy of that book and see for yourself how imaginative his animation poses were. The guy was a genius.

  • http://www.mouseketeerlonnieburr.com Lonnie Burr

    Bill contributed to the opening sequence of the original “Mickey Mouse Club” and introduced his friend Jimmie Dodd to Walt. Knowing Walt liked to “discover things for himself” he thought his tennis buddy and songwriter Jimmie would be a great host of the series. Jimmie wrote a needed “Pencil Song”, which we used on the show, sang it in Walt’s office to him. Walt said, “He’s our host!” I knew Bill better than all of Disney’s “old men” [artists connected to Walt their entire careers] and a picture of the two of us at WDW during the 40th celebration of the MMC is on page 341, as words there and elsewhere in the memoir, of CONFESSIONS OF AN ACCIDENTAL MOUSEKETEER, my book published in 2009 [www.mouseketeerlonnieburr.com]. I wish Bill a great 96th – my grandmother saw 3 centuries – 1896-2001 – so I hope Bill makes 105, too. I am sending an autographed copy of CONFESSIONS and a signed photo to Bill to jog his memory. With great admiration and positive feelings, Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr!!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville Ariel

    Great post. Thanks Amid.

    It just so happens i just bought Disney’s Archive collection DVD of their rare shorts. And most of Bills films are on there. I had no idea the Disney studio had made these stop motion shorts. Truly they are gems.

    All my best to Bill.

  • Lynne Walker Bladergroen

    This is for Melissa: Hi Melissa, My father Ken Walker worked with your dad at Disney and I just forwarded this link to him, I am hoping he will go and visit, (My dad is 89) he was 18 when he started at disney on Fantasia. in fact I remember going to your home when I was a little girl.
    Anyway I hope he had a wonderful birthday.
    Sincerly,
    Lynne Walker Bladergroen

  • m justice

    hello………I would love to hear about Mr. Justice’s childhood.

  • waz

    Rest in peace bill. Thank you for your inspiration and for touching our hearts through your work.

  • Leislie L.

    I had the pleasure of spending time with the Justice family in the early 80′s. My dad was a friend of the family.
    A great group of people. Bill drew a cartoon for me of Mickey and Goofy. Still have it this day.

    Regards,
    Leslie

  • Robert

    I am sorry to hear of the passing of Bill Justice. I know it might seem late in writing this, but I truly feel he is still looking down upon us from the stars above, feeling the love we all have for him, and the work he left for all of us to enjoy for a life time. I went to school with Melissa at John Burroughs High School. I had the very special opportunity to spend time with the family.
    Bill had a true love for what he did. Although he never thought of it as work.
    One of my favorite memories was being with Melissa and Bill at the park. That is where I could feel the true passion of what he did in the Magical World of Disney. Bill Justice loved what he did and I could feel it by when he showed me how the Bear Jamboree worked, and the Pirates of the Caribbean. Bill would sit and watch the show and wait to hear the audiences reaction. Bill loved to hear the audience enjoy what he brought to life. I was blessed to be able to Walk through the park with a legend of Disney. I still visit a Disney park at least once a year, and as I walk through the park I still feel the presence of Bill Justice.
    Thank you Sir, for giving me a life long memory of a magical time, being blessed to have the opportunity of spending it with you and your family.
    My only regret is that I moved to Florida, and we lost touch with each other.

    God bless you, Melissa, and Marie.

    Robert A. Seeley