Devastated Fans Pay Tribute to Disney Legend, Dead at 95

in Disney, Disney Parks, Entertainment, Featured, Movies & TV

Richard and Roger Sherman with Walt Disney

Credit: Disney

Odds are, if you mention the Sherman Brothers to a Disney fan, their face will light up. In the early 1960s, the talented Richard and Robert Sherman caught the attention of Walt Disney, who hired them as staff songwriters for Walt Disney Studios. As Rick Blaine might say, from there, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The brothers remained a core part of the Disney family until Walt died in 1966.

Throughout their time with Disney, the Sherman Brothers wrote so many iconic Disney theme park songs, including “it’s a small world”, “One Little Spark” from Journey Into Imagination, and “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom.

sherman brothers with walt disney
Credit: D23

Related: The Iconic Duo Behind Your Favorite Disney Songs

But it wasn’t just the theme parks that benefitted from the talent of Richard and Robert Sherman. The brothers also wrote some of the most iconic Disney songs we know, including the music of Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (except “Bare Necessities”) (1967), The Parent Trap (1961), and The Arisocats (1970).

On Saturday, May 25, Richard Sherman passed away at the age of 95. His brother, Robert, was three years older and passed away in 2012. Fans were heartbroken at the loss of the second Sherman brother. Many took to social media to remember the incredibly talented songwriter.

Richard M. Sherman. An older man with short dark hair and a big smile sits at a piano. The background reveals a wooden bookshelf adorned with various items, including a framed photograph, a stuffed bear, books, and even a small statue of Mary Poppins, the beloved Disney icon.
Credit: Disney

Frozen star and fellow Disney Legend Josh Gad fondly remembered Mr. Sherman — whom he was able to meet — and thanked him for his contributions to Disney.

One of the great privileges of my life was getting to know the legendary Richard Sherman, the man responsible for so many of the songs that defined my childhood from the scores of Mary Poppins to Jungle Book to legendary rides like It’s a Small World The Tiki Room and so many others. What a giant and what a beautiful soul. We will continue to feed the birds in your honor you unbelievable talent.

 

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Disney Animation also shared an emotional video from 2022, when Richard returned to Walt Disney Studios and the office where he played so many memorable songs for Walt. Sherman returned to play the piano for the beloved Disney short film, Once Upon a Studio (2023).

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Disney Legend Richard Sherman. Your songs are the soundtrack to so many of our memories, including the iconic “Feed the Birds.” Thank you for filling the world with your joy and for the incredible legacy of music you created.

Related: Sherman Brother Son Prompted Iconic ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ Song

Alan Menken, known for writing the songs to hit Disney movies, like The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Aladdin (1992), also paid tribute to his fellow songwriter.

Richard Sherman was such a class act, a sweet man and a beautiful songwriter. We were all so blessed to have had him in our lives. All my love and prayers to Elizabeth and his family.

X (formerly Twitter) user, Austin Wintory, said that Richard Sherman deserved the title “The Greatest of All Time.”

Too easily we throw around the term “Greatest of all Time” but who can question Richard Sherman being worthy of it. The world is incalculably better for his having been part of it.

RIP to someone whose work genuinely made it a ‘small world after all.’

Music critic Chris Willman shared an adorable video of Mr. Sherman singing along to “Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room,” a song that he and his brother wrote for Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

Relishing this memory I captured of the late Richard Sherman singing along with his “Enchanted Tiki Room” theme. He stopped by a 2018 exhibit of Disneyland artifacts Richard Kraft was auctioning. As a Tiki Room cultist, I was enchanted by Jose and Sherman, even sans a Dole Whip.

Related: Walt Disney’s Favorite Disney Song and the Story Behind It

Jeffrey R. Epstein, one of the former leaders of D23, remembered how much Richard gave to the Disney community.

Was so lucky to have met Richard Sherman many times and his generosity of talent and spirit (on dazzling display at D23’s first Destination D event in 2010) filled my heart – and many others – with joy. Thank you, Richard. I hope you’re playing “Feed the Birds” with Walt tonight.

Richard Sherman is not the only Disney Legend that we have lost this year. On January 4, Glynis Johns passed away at the age of 100. Johns is best known for her role as suffragette supporter, Mrs. Banks, in the Disney film Mary Poppins. She was the oldest living Disney Legend when she passed away. That honor now lies with Dick Van Dyke, who is still thriving at 98 years old.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Richard Sherman. He will forever be known as one of the original creators of true Disney magic.

in Disney, Disney Parks, Entertainment, Featured, Movies & TV

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