There are few with a resume as impressive as Burny Mattinson, a Disney Legend with dozens of film credits under his belt both old and new.
It is with sadness that we report the Disney Legend, who holds the title of longest-serving Cast Member in Walt Disney Company History, has passed away at the age of 87.
His incredible list of titles within the company included animator, director, producer, and story artist, and he worked hard to earn them. According to Disney, Mattinson passed away Monday, February 27, at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California, following a short illness.
As noted in this tweet from Bob Iger, Burny got his start as a messenger on the Disney Animation lot in 1953.
Deeply saddened that Disney Legend Burny Mattinson—our longest serving employee—has passed away. Burny started as a messenger on the lot in 1953 & went on to become a true icon of @DisneyAnimation. We are forever grateful for his contributions & seven decades of service. https://t.co/mUu89g17zW
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) February 27, 2023
His animation credits include classic films like Lady and the Tramp (1955), One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), and The Sword in the Stone (1963). Disney animator Eric Goldberg shared that his friend and colleague “was the Renaissance man of Disney Animation,” and that he “literally did everything that could be done at the studio—assistant animator, animator, story artist, producer, and director of many films.”
Burny was still working with the company in recent years, serving as story consultant and mentor for films such as Big Hero 6 and Strange World. Through his 70 years as a Cast Member, he was more than happy to share his knowledge and expertise with the younger generations.
Without Burny Mattinson the Disney company as we know it would not exist today. We know he will be dearly missed by Disney fans and all those who loved him. We send our condolences to his family and friends, and want to share our appreciation for the incredible legacy he left behind.
Very few cast members left who actually worked with Walt.