Once Upon a Legend: Disney Animators Honor Burny Mattinson

in Movies

Burny Mattinson standing in front of his Disney Legend handprints

Credit: Disney

The late Disney Legend Burny Mattinson was responsible for some of the most beloved characters of the Walt Disney Animation Studio since 1953, and a team of animation legends pay tribute to his life, legacy, and work in the featurette below.

Burny Mattinson was one of Walt Disney’s original animators who helped bring Once Upon a Studio (2023) to life, and legendary animators of Disney’s animation team just published the video above to commemorate his work after passing away in February of 2023. Per Eric Goldberg, paying tribute to his legacy and the role he played at the studio was “not only right, it was necessary.”

Related: Pete Docter Named Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, Jennifer Lee Assumes Same Role at Walt Disney Animation

Animator, producer, director, consultant, and more, Mattinson was vastly instrumental behind some of Disney’s biggest success stories. It’s only fitting that his final appearance was surrounded by the works of art he helped bring to life.

Disney Honors Burny Mattison with ‘Once Upon a Studio’

Promo Art for Once Upon a Studio
Credit: Disney

Mattinson was not only the short film’s connection directly to Walt, but he was the hand behind the pen that brought classic Disney characters from works like Robin Hood (1977) and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) to life. He was even a consultant on several films as recent as Strange World (2022).

Related: Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke Offered Role of James Bond, Actor Confirms

As pointed out by director Dan Abraham, “Burny Mattinson was at Disney Animation longer than Walt Disney was alive” and had a career of 70 years at the studio. At the time of his passing, he had the longest career out of anyone at the Walt Disney Company, making him just as prominent of a figure as the animated characters he helped create.

Winnie the pooh surprised eating hunny
Credit: Disney

The average viewer might not think about how much artistry goes into creating each step, each trace, or each fraction of illustrated movement to bring a character to life.

Related: Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Isn’t Public Domain, Ub Iwerks’ Is

Mattinson shared his process with the Disney studio and stated,

“The important thing to remember about good animation is that less is more. Moving the characters too much is the sign of a real amateur. We put our efforts into more subtle, carefully thought out actions that communicate the point clearly and in an entertaining way.”

Mattinson’s appearance in Once Upon a Studio wasn’t just a nod to the audience or a wink to the armchair Disney historians watching, but a starring role that helped shape so many of the characters we know and love today.

Do you have a favorite Burny Mattison project? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

in Movies

Comments Off on Once Upon a Legend: Disney Animators Honor Burny Mattinson