Animator, writer and director Burny Mattinson celebrated his 60th year of working at The Walt Disney Company this week. The commemoration and celebration were held on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at the Roy E. Disney Animation Building on The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, CA.
Cartoon Brew published additional details as well as photos of the event. John Lasseter was on hand to give Burny a hug as well as his 60-year service award.
Mattinson is the last person currently employed at Walt Disney Animation Studios who actually worked directly with Walt Disney himself. He started as an employee in the mailroom, and then worked his way up through the animation ranks, first as an inbetweener, assistant animator and clean-up artist for such Disney classics as Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians. He worked in the Story Department for such films as The Jungle Book and The Aristocats.
His directorial debut at Disney was for the short feature Mickey’s Christmas Carol in 1983. He was a part of the “second golden age” of Disney animation working on story for Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tarzan and 2011’s Winnie the Pooh (he also worked on the first Winnie the Pooh shorts in the 1960s and 1970s).
For more on Burny and his fascinating career with Disney, check out this podcast series recorded in 2006 and 2007.
Congrats, Burny! And many thanks for all of your wonderful contributions to the films we all love so much.