This afternoon at the Walt Disney Animation studio, they took some time off to celebrate this guy:
That’s Burny Mattinson, and he started working at Disney sixty years ago today, making him the studio’s last active employee to have worked directly with Walt Disney. It’s amazing to think what a different place America was when Mattinson first started working at the company: Disneyland didn’t yet exist, WWII general Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, there had never been a Super Bowl, Elvis Presley was just graduating high school, black people still sat in the back of the bus in many parts of America, and we’d never traveled into outer space.
Starting in the mailroom, Mattinson worked as an inbetweener, assistant animator and clean-up artist on Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, and 101 Dalmatians. He inbetweened on some of Fred Moore’s last animation and did clean-up on Marc Davis’ Maleficent. Later, he became a storyman on The Jungle Book and The Aristocats.