How Long is 37 Years at Disney?

Thirty-seven years! That’s the length of time that Glen Keane worked at Disney Feature Animation and it’s the figure that stood out to me in yesterday’s surprise announcement that he was leaving Disney. How does that length of employment compare to the Nine Old Men and other famous Disney artists? The list below shows a cross-section of well known Disney artists, past and present, and how long each of them worked (or more appropriately, survived) at the studio.

LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT FOR FAMOUS DISNEY ARTISTS

John Hench 64 years
Burny Mattinson 59 years
Eric Larson 52 years
Les Clark 49 years
Woolie Reitherman 48 years
Ken Anderson 44 years
Frank Thomas 43.5 years
Ollie Johnston 43 years
Marc Davis 43 years
Milt Kahl 42 years
Ward Kimball 40.5 years
John Lounsbery 40 years
Ron Clements 38 years
Ham Luske 37 years
GLEN KEANE 37 years
Mark Henn 31.5 years
Andreas Deja 30.5 years
Ruben Aquino 30 years
Joe Grant 28 years
Bill Peet 27 years
Fred Moore 20.5 years
Eric Goldberg 15 years
Art Babbitt 9 years
James Baxter 9 years
Bill Tytla 9 years

(Note: Many artists, like Keane himself, left the studio and returned. I’ve tried to take those departures into account while compiling the list, but if you find inaccuracies, please let me know.)


  • http://www.onanimation.com Daniel

    Very interesting stuff!

  • Toonio

    Frank and Ollie worked for 43 years! at Disney?

    Holy cow the patience and persistence to produce quality animation goes by the hand with becoming a saint.

    • Bud

      Frank and Ollie were not/are not “saints” Hard workers, yes. But not above office politics like everyone else.

  • http://optionjoe.blogspot.com Joe

    I see Ron Clements on the list, but no John Musker. I’m assuming he’s been at Disney about the same length as Glen Keane or Ron Clements.

    • http://www.tomsito.com Tom Sito

      John Musker was part of the “young Disney” training program and they all started at that same time.
      Remember too that Musker and Clements were laid off by the studio in 2005, then re-hired when the Pixar guys took over in 2006.

  • http://www.tomsito.com Tom Sito

    The old image was you spent your entire career at Disney. Once I got there, I found out the modern average time for an animator was seven years. I was there 8 years.

  • Jason Campbell

    He started almost one month to the day after my birth.
    And I feel like a old man these days.

    I thought when I started Disney in 97 I’d be there till the end of my days.
    I was there till end of picture.

    sigh.

  • Pieter

    Such a shame Bill Tytla resigned from The Disney studio so soon.

  • Joe

    The real question here is: why have I never heard of John Hench before?

    • http://www.sisterson.co.uk Dennis Sisterson

      Joe: John Hench was the mail room guy. (Kidding)

  • Adam Abraham

    Here’s another perspective: Walt Disney worked at Walt Disney Productions for forty-three years, from 1923 (when it was known as Disney Brothers) until 1966. His brother Roy lasted a little longer, until 1971.