Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A Member Of The Family
Great artist and good guy Pete Emslie drew this caricature of Roy E. Disney, who died today, the day after the 43rd anniversary of the passing of Walt Disney, and in the same month that Roy's father, Roy O. Disney, died on December 20, 1971. I think Pete's portrait captures Roy's warmth and humor, two of this good man's many positive attributes. All who love Disney lost a great champion and a good man. Roy saved the company his father and uncle founded at least twice, and in particular championed Disney animation, ensuring not only that art form's survival but its flourishing, right up until the present time. I met Roy several times and was struck, as so many others have also reported, by the humility and down-to-earth quality of this powerful and wealthy man. I worked on a project which involved meeting with Roy, and it was astonishing to see Roy make a sort of "I'm impressed" face as someone else told him about what I had been working on, and I naturally thought how amazing that Roy E. Disney would even take time to notice me. But that was Roy: friendly, interested and engaged, kind and yes, humble. is one of the many who also remarked upon Roy's gracious interest in others. "I first met Roy when I was still an animation student at CalArts," John said in a widely reprinted statement. "Not only did I consider him a personal friend, but he was a great man who believed deeply in the art of animation. I was always impressed that he would make time for someone like me when I was fresh out of college, and he continued to support and encourage me throughout my career." In Bob Iger's statement, Bob said of Roy, "His commitment to the art of animation was unparalleled and will always remain his personal legacy and one of the greatest contributions to Disney’s past, present and future." A true gentleman, Roy, like his father and uncle, is irreplaceable.