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Get Well Soon, Jim Korkis

jimkorkis1.jpgAnimation historian Jim Korkis had a series of three small strokes last week. The strokes were in a portion of the brain that control balance and equilibrium, so he’s a bit unsteady, but he has no paralysis or speech impediment, and did not have a heart attack (as many stroke victims do after their initial incident). I understand he’s doing pretty well, all things considered.

Jim is one of the most renown and respected animation historians in our field, and certainly one of the most knowledgeable Disney scholars I know. He’s also a great friend. Get well soon, Jim!

  • Get well, Jim!!!

  • I was sad to hear this. Get well quck, Jim!

  • Jim was our host at the Disney Institute some years ago when our team spent a week there. And, you can bet he knows his animation stuff too.

    Here’s to a speedy recovery, Jim. Get well soon!

  • Paul N

    It’s been my pleasure and privilege to count Jim among my friends for over 10 years now, though I’ve enjoyed his work for much longer than that. Anyone who knows him can attest to his passion for the history of animation and love of the artform. Jim, you’re in our thoughts and prayers – get well soon!

  • Jim Engel

    Get well soon, Jimbo! It’s been awhile!…

  • Extremely sad to hear about this and hoping for the best. When I think of animation fandom’s good guys, Jim–who I’ve known for 25 years–is very literally the first person who comes to mind.

  • Although it’s been all too many years since we’ve seen each other in person, I’m certain that you’re still truly one of the good ‘uns, Jim. Something tells me that you’ll handle this temporary setback with the same upbeat attitude that you’ve always amply displayed. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, pal.

  • Matt Sullivan

    This has been a hard week for animators and their kin. Get well my friend.

  • Arlen Miller

    Jim has always been a good friend to not only our World Chapter members but to NFFC as a whole. We all wish him a fast and safe recovery as he is always full of such positive energy that he can nothing else but return to his original full of energy and life state of being! Take Care My Friend.

  • Do get well, Jim! And in so saying, I speak for other Disney and Floyd Gottfredson fans as well. Jim’s inspirational Disney scholarship has been invaluable to me over the years—not least his groundbreaking research into the Disney Good Housekeeping pages.
    Warmest wishes for a quick recovery.

  • Alex Maher

    I just saw you a couple of weeks ago at DU and heard soon after from your brother what had happened. My prayers are with you pal for a speeding recovery! Hang in there!

  • Cathy Doyle

    Jim we hope that you’re back on your feet soon! Get well!

  • Costa Alavezos

    There won’t be any other person like Jim who knows all the history and valuable information who has the love for Disney. My prayers are with you and have a quick recovery. Get well soon!

  • Graham

    Get well Jim,
    I worked with Jim at the Disney Institute for a number of years. He taught me so much about Animation History. His knowledge and passion of the subject is an inspiration.

  • Monique Heydlauff

    Jim is not only an incredible animation historian but he has animated my life as well…love.

  • Paul N


    We were just talking about you. Drop me an email and let me know how you’re doing. I’m pretty easy to find via a web search.

  • Court

    My wife and I met Jim when we attended the soft opening of the Disney Institute. She still has a sketch of Pluto he drew for her hanging on our wall. We wish him well.

  • I, too, met Jim at a Disney Institute animation event years ago, and he is such a wonderful person. GET WILL JIM!!!!! thinking lots of positive thoughts for you! : )

  • Larry L.


    Jim Korkis is one of the most unselfish people I have ever met. We worked together at the Disney Institute for a few years. He is a a fount of information on animation and cartoon history.

    And what a actor/presenter/writer/character he is…you never wanted to follow Jim during a presentation because there was no way to even approach his skill level.

    He has brought joy to thousands of folks everywhere he goes…he is a one of a kind…

    My son who is now an actor- took some of Jim’s improv classes at the Institute. He learned a great deal from Jim and David McElroy.

  • William R. Lund

    The first time I recall seeing something by Jim–and if memory serves me well, I believe it was a piece on Harman/Ising–it came with very high regards from Bob Clampett. I can’t say that I faithfully followed any of Jim’s works later on, but, whenever I saw his name attached to an article or book, I knew that it would be worth my while to read that work…because Bob thought so well of Jim.
    Please, get better, Jim.

  • Get well Jim!

    Your admirers and readers (and classmates) from the Occidental Class of ’72, are with you in spirit. Sincerest wishes for your speedy and complete recovery.

  • Doc Gamble

    Jim is the kind of person that is more comfortable giving than receiving. He does not like to reach out for assistance, but rather trusts in the faith that good things will come to those who wait, and who do good things for others.

    Jim Korkis left Southern California — which meant leaving behind friends who shared his love of animation and Disney, as well as a possible network for future endeavors — to be “in on the ground floor” at the Disney Institute, as well as to care for his aging parents. During his tenure, he wrote programs, taught classes and gave his all. Florida was very fortunate to have him as a resource and an inspiration to those who loved Disney, and also as an eye-opener to the thousands of Florida residents, visitors and Cast Members whose personal knowledge of Disney was a grain of sand on Jim’s beach of information.

    While the fate of the Disney Institute remains fodder for a future book, article or weblog, suffice it to say that Jim and several others found themselves looking for “other opportunities” inside or outside Walt Disney World in Florida.

    Jim moved to the Disney Learning Center, continuing to host numerous presentations as part of his position and also on his own. He wrote many of the Epcot behind the scenes tours that Guests still pay to attend. He made presentations to corporate partners, reminding young executives at various companies about their history with Disney in order to retain those lucrative partnerships. More than anything else, Jim made time for his friends and never said no to a favor or access to anything he knew.

    Things went well for a few years. His management was supportive to Jim and he amassed a variety of presentations and resources to benefit Cast Members at Disney. He was encouraged to share the heritage and legacy with literally hundreds of Disney people, including visiting dignitaries from around the world.

    Jim lost his mother a few years ago and his father more recently, seeing both through extended illnesses, juggling their needs with his work responsibilities. A bout with prostate cancer also sent friends to his bedside. Yet if you had a problem, Jim would lend a sympathetic ear, never letting on that your quibbles paled in view of what he was dealing with personally.

    Management changed at Jim’s workplace. The “vision” for his department and Jim’s role were summarily redefined. He is now limited to adhere to the clerical duties of his workplace and keep all other contributions to himself. This is hard for a person who lives to give, but negative consequences will befall him if he does.

    After suffering the three mini-strokes, the doctors discovered that he had at least two before that he was unaware of. They could find no outstanding reason for this (it’s not in his family history) except for extreme stress. One doctor asked Jim if he had been riding roller coasters lately. Of course he had not — at least in the literal sense.

    This information is being shared in the hopes that someone can find a way to get Jim away from what is physically and mentally eating away at him. Central Florida is not exactly a haven for Disney or animation fans or particularly responsive to specialists in those subjects. To paraphrase The Beverly Hillbillies, “California is the place he ought to be.” If anyone has any leads that can help Jim relocate, not only may it add to the richness of the animation resources but also it would surely add time to Jim’s life. In Florida, it seems they’ve gone from trying to figure what to do for him to what to do about him.

    Jim, when you read this, please forgive me for revealing so much but something has to be done before we find ourselves saying “if only.” This is not a plea for a handout because whoever is lucky enough to get Jim in their corner will literally be richer for it. Walt Disney World certainly is.

  • Every issue I published of Duckburg Times had an article by Jim. Because I was lucky enough he always had something to contribute and I just felt it was our lucky charm. He is a great guy and I both hope his health improves and that soon the Universe finally gives him a better situation.

  • Russ Maheras

    Get better soon, Jim!

  • Get well Jim. I wish you well. I wish you could get the heck out of Florida and back to the west coast where you belong and where you will be appreciated for the historian you are.

  • Get well, Jim! We only met once at a Con many years ago(I bought your miniature black light Wally Wood dirty Disney poster) but talking with you was a highlight of the event for me!

  • Jim, our prayers are with you.

  • Jim you were kind enough to help my daughter Jennifer with an interview for a college paper she had to write and spent a lot of time with her on it. I owe you more than just a thank you. I would do anything that you need just say the word and I will be there for you like you were there for Jennifer. God Bless You and Please Get Well Soon.
    Your Pal In Disney Keith Iler

  • Rick Boyce

    Keith Iler told us about you. We are from the Michigan Chapter Of NFFC. We truly wish you a speedy recovery. We apreciate all you have done to bring the “dreams of Disney” to so many. God bless you. Our prayers are with you.

  • Amanda Woodward

    Don’t worry Jim I will do the muppet and chocolate comments for the Discovery Day classes while your away. Hurry back my rendition is not quite as funny yours and the Learning Center iam sure misses you. Your in my prayers, Amanda.

  • Jim, Hope this finds you improving each day! Sending lots and lots of pixie dust and healthing thought to you. You are a true Disney treasure! Deb Wills

  • Len Testa

    Get well soon, Jim. Your writing is top notch.

  • Nathan Rose

    Jim, Here is to a speedy recovery! We need you here in Orlando!

  • Ellen Petrokieiwcz

    Dear Jim: I was devastated to hear of this news, and do wish you well. I always enjoyed seeing you at WDW (in casting services of EPCOT). Your FABULOUS presentations of Disney at both cast and “fan” events has always been an uplift. Do get back soon…..

  • Angela

    Jim! Please get well soon. And rest a lot. I look forward to seeing your smile and hearing your stories soon!

  • Cathy Jones

    Hello Jim,
    Get well soon, I’m looking forward to learning so much from you when you return to the Learning Center at Epcot. And everybody misses you here at our site.

  • Betsy Tabor

    I first met Jim when I attended one of his Learning Center classes while working on the college program. The class was basically a look at the history of characters in the parks. I not only learned a lot from him and I was also very much entertained. He’s a treu Disney gem and legend and his passion for Disney is evident and infectious. Jim, here’s wishing you a speedy and successful recovery. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and thank you for all the magic you bring into the lives of cast members and fans alike. I hope to maybe meet you once again when I come back as a full time CM at WDW and to hear more of your great stories, like the ones you told during that class .

  • Lucy Murgalo

    Hi Jim,
    You are the 2nd friend this month to have a few strokes! It must be going around! I pray you don’t have any permanent problems.
    Keep the faith, get well soon,
    Love & Hugs!

  • Lisa & John Allison

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Jim. We originally met Jim at the Disney Institute during the inaugural year. What a gem he is!!

  • Kathy Hall

    Hi, Jim!

    I am also one of the lucky ones to know you through the Disney Institute Animation Events. Your friendly, funny personalityand incredible knowledge of all things Disney made my experience truly memorable and precious. Sending you a big bear hug of health and happiness!

    Goofy for you.

  • Amy (McQueen) Emett

    I came across a picture of you when you taught our drama class in Jr. High. Looks like you have done very well for yourself. You were an awesome teacher! I remember those trashcans flying across the room like it was yesterday…lol..Look us all up on SMHS Class of 1980! You will find your picture there. Hope all is going well.