Jerrybrice's Blog
The intersection of animation, entertainment, and politics

Roy Disney,2D Animation Advocate And Entertainment Mogul,Dies Today at 79

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I have just been informed of the death of Roy E. Disney,79.

Roy was the son of Disney Studios business mastermind Roy Disney Sr., who was the brother and business partner of  Walt Disney. He died Wednesday in Newport Beach following a year-long battle with stomach cancer.  For more biographical history of Mr. Disney, click here-

As an ex-Disney Feature Animation employee during the ”Oliver and Company” and ”Little Mermaid” days, I would often run in to Mr Disney around the studio, and sometimes he would join in on conversations with the animators and chat it up just like one of the guys.

I directly benefited from his leadership in the resurgence of Disney 2 D animation during those days, which have been heralded as the second ”golden period” for Disney 2 D animation.

I also witnessed Roy in a fight against the corporation, that was dedicated to ruining the Disney Feature animation division, and the dismantling of our 2 D animation department, that was the reason for the worldwide success of the Disney brand.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=roy+e.+disney&iid=3602815″ src=”5/1/9/0/Roy_E_Disney_9b2a.jpg?adImageId=8386249&imageId=3602815″ width=”234″ height=”149″ /]He knew that the failure of the company was not the fault of the 2 D animators, but was a direct result of the mismanagement and the inability of current management to effectively market traditional Disney entertainment.

Over the years, I also saw Roy Disney being a tremendously loyal person.

He was so loyal, I like to tell people, that he even bought his favorite restaurant, The Smoke House– 4420 West Lakeside Drive, Burbank, CA‎ – (818) 845-3731‎, when they had planned on closing due to the lack of business that they had experienced there.

Smoke House of Roy Disney favorites

Smoke House of Roy Disney favorites

As a long time residence of Toluca Lake, I appreciated that gesture, because it was and continues to be one of my all time favorite restaurants as well.It’s definetly great for lunch, and a traditional place for  those of us in the animation industry to meet and drink at.

I also remember Roy, chain-smoking at a company wide meeting, and letting us know how happy he was that our movie ”Oliver and Company” opened up so successfully, and then giving the whole crew a substantial financial bonus, in honor of the success of the movie at the box office.

The history and biography of the life and times of Roy Disney will be reported on, quite extensively by others in the media, in the coming days, so I will give my own point of view on Mr.Disney.

Roy Disney was an adventurer, and owned yachts, and several fast cars.

My favorite one was his 1955 Ford Thunderbird, and I just loved the restoration he had done on that car…I wanted one badly.

Once I had the opportunity to talk with him about the car, and he was in to it.

He must have lived around the area, because I would pass by him on my drive home on Forest Lawn Drive, which is a two lane winding country like road. A couple of times at a stop light, he recognized me, and he would give me a thumbs up greeting, and then he pealed out, and then so did I.

His 1955 T-Bird was a little bit faster than my car, but I am a pretty good driver, and I do not get scared, but let me tell you all, Roy Disney was all about racing.

He beat me every time, and I always would tell my friend Phil Young, who also liked to race dangerously on city streets, that I let him win because he was the boss, but Phil knew Roy for several years, and he knew what Roy was capable of in the racing department.

Those were fun times, and that is just a small slice of the spirit of this great man.I bet he was a fun dad, uncle, and family member.He certainly was a great man to work for.

I was always impressed by how Mr Disney would treat us animators with respect, and I always felt that he truly respected all of us, and considered himself a part of our team, which he was.

I salute Roy Disney, and all the great things he has done with his life. He could have just gone off and become a spoiled rich kid, but interestingly enough, he elected to work with all of us at the studio.

I remember the first time I met him, he shook my hand, and I just remember how much he resembled Walt Disney, it was profound.

With his Shamrock Holdings company, and all the advances he made for 2 D animation, I would like his family to know that he will truly be missed.

When it all comes to an end, just know that Roy Disney was a good man, and his loyalty, and fun that he brought to us all, made a lot of people successful and happy.

I salute you Mr Roy Disney.


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