Burny Mattinson was an accomplished animator, writer, and director whose talent and passion for the art of animation spanned several decades. With a career that began in the 1950s and continued until his retirement in 2020, Burny made an indelible mark on the animation industry, contributing to some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time.
His passing on February 27, 2023, was a great loss to the animation community, but his legacy will live on through the countless people he inspired and the timeless works of animation he helped to create. In this obituary, we will celebrate Burny’s life and his many contributions to the world of animation.
Burny Mattinson Obituary
Burny Mattinson, a Disney animator who worked on timeless films like “101 Dalmations” and “The Jungle Book,” was the company’s longest-serving employee ever. He passed away at the age of 87. Mattinson held many positions at Walt Disney Animation Studios throughout the course of their 70-year career, including animator, director, producer, and narrative artist.
He worked on animated movies from 1955’s “Lady and the Tramp” to 2022’s “Strange World,” where he served as a mentor and consultant. Also, he contributed to the creation of the plots for the movies “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin.” Additional projects he worked on were “Mary Poppins,” “The Aristocats” and “Mulan,” among many more.
Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, posted on Twitter, “Deeply sorry that Disney Legend Burny Mattinson, our longest serving employee, has passed away.” “In 1953, Burny was hired as a messenger on the set and went on to become a genuine Disney Animation icon. For his accomplishments and seven decades of service, we will always be thankful.”
In 2018, Mattinson broke the previous record for Disney longevity set by artist and Imagineer John Hench by surpassing the previous milestone of more than 64 years. After a brief illness, Mattinson passed away on Monday at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, the facility’s management stated.
Disney claims that gifts can be made in his honor to the Woodland Hills-based Motion Picture and Television Foundation. Four grandkids, son Brett, daughter Genny, daughter-in-law Kelly, son-in-law Larry Ellena, and Mattinson’s wife, Ellen Siirola, are left to carry on his legacy.
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Burny Mattinson’s Cause of Death
The renowned Animator passed away on February 27, 2023, at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California, after a brief illness. When he passed away, he was 87 years old.
His four grandchildren, his wife Ellen Siirola, their two children, Brett Mattinson and Genny, as well as their spouses, survive him. His enthusiasm for animation was admirable and will go on for a very long time. His loved ones, friends, and coworkers will miss him terribly.
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Legacy of Iconic Animations Left Behind
Mattinson was renowned for his avant-garde style of animation, which included distinctive characters, plots, and visuals. He played a significant role in several cherished Disney classics, such as:
- Lady and the Tramp (1955)
- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
- One hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
- The wonderful world of Color (1961-1969)
- The sword and the stone (1963)
- Mary Poppins (1964)
- The Jungle Book (1967)
- Robin Hood (1973)
- Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974)
- The Rescuers (1977)
- The fox and the hound (1981)
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
He is also credited with writing the Little Golden Books, a line of kid’s books that was first released in 1942. In The Little Mermaid, he is also credited with inventing the well-known “stretch and squash” method.
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