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May 13

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May 13, 1935 – Storyboarder, Animator, and Disney Legend Burny Mattinson is Born

Burny Mattinson

“Disney has always been a family place. I think that’s what’s so rich about it.”

On May 13, 1935, Burnett Mattinson was born in San Francisco, California. A skilled artist from an early age, Mattinson managed to score a job at Disney thanks to his mother, who dropped him off at the gate of the Disney Studios after he graduated high school. A guard called the head of Personnel for him, and he got a job in the mailroom. Mattinson’s case is similar to those early animators, as he had no formal art training before he started working as an in-betweener a mere six months later. For the animated feature Sleeping Beauty, he was promoted to assistant animator under Marc Davis. After working with Davis on One Hundred and One Dalmatians, he worked with fellow Nine Old Men animator Eric Larson for twelve years on a variety of projects; he then began working with Ollie Johnston after an internal animation training program. Mattinson made his mark by recommending to then CEO Ron Miller an idea for a holiday film, which to his surprise was approved, and Mattinson was picked to direct what would eventually become Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He continued to make his mark on several Disney projects, and in 2008, he was honored as a Disney Legend. In 2013, he celebrated his 60th anniversary with the company, becoming one of the longest serving employees with the company.

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