Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roy Disney - In Memorium

I just heard that Roy Disney died this morning.  He was a really nice man.  Every time I interacted with him at Disney, he was kind, fatherly and encouraged the best quality in his people.

I worked with him on Fantasia 2000, which was his baby. We were in a kind of bubble which was protected by Roy, giving us the opportunity to work on the segments of Fantaisia without as much production pressure as that of the other films in progress at the time.

I continued to work with him later on some shorts which were meant for a third Fantaisia which never materialized as a full feature film.  Shorts such as Lorenzo, Destino, My Peoples, Little Match Girl, and a few more were finished and sent to various DVD releases as supplemental material.

One time when I was working on Fantaisia, he happened to see me near my desk and asked me if I wanted to see his new CD player which was in the middle console of his Fararri, the license plates of which were , “Pyewacket,” also the name of his sailboat.  I went with him outside to check out the CD player, not surprised at all by the high quality of the unit, but amazed by the invitation of having been given this invitation by him as if I was one of his buddies. 

He was involved in the films, sometimes hands on, and sometimes in the background.  He made visits to the studio every week or two to see how our progress went.

I met his wife at the time, Patty, on several occasions.  She was also very nice and cordial, treating me as a friend.

One funny story I have, which is not a first hand account, but since I knew the people involved, I can tell it with certainty.  After the night that either Lorenzo or Destino was nominated for best short animated film, Roy, Patty and some people I was working with at the time (the director, producer and visual effects supervisor) get into his limo and went through In and Out Burger.  When I heard this the next day from one of them, it really made me laugh and appreciate how he was really one of us, and yet he was a Disney.

I am very proud to be able to say that I worked with Roy Disney.