By Andy Guinigundo
On Dec. 16, 2009, the Disney family lost a legend. Roy E. Disney was son of Roy O. Disney and nephew to Walt Disney. More than possessing a famous last name, Roy made some real contributions to the Disney Company.
He has been described as the “conscience of the company”. He had a clear vision for the Disney Company. Respecting the past is the key to mapping the future. He was quoted once, “The thing that distinguishes us from everybody else, and always has and always will, is our past. The goal is to look over our shoulder and see Snow White and Pinocchio and Dumbo standing there, saying, ‘Be this good.’ We shouldn’t be intimidated by them; they’re an arrow pointing someplace.”
In the world of film and entertainment, he had plenty of accomplishments as well. He worked on true-life adventure films The Living Desert and The Vanishing Prairie, both of which won academy awards. He wrote for the television series Walt Disney’s World of Color and Zorro.
He eventually became the company’s vice chairman and head of animation. During his tenure classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King were produced. Perhaps one of his biggest undertakings was the production Fantasia 2000.
As a lasting tribute to Roy, the animation building at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif. was rededicated as the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. Hundreds of D23 members were present for the celebration. VIPs Roy Patrick Disney, executives Bob Iger and Don Hahn, and, of course, Mickey Mouse were on hand for the dedication.
• Andy Guinigundo is the author of the Out of The Loop column in “Orlando Attractions Magazine”. Out of the Loop keeps you up-to-date with attraction news outside of Central Florida. Andy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and three daughters. He grew up frequenting theme parks around Ohio and making trips to Orlando with his family. While for most of the year, he’s out of the Orlando loop, he tries to visit Florida at least once a year.