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Roy E. Disney Has passed away.
December 16, 2009 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Roy E. Disney, son of Disney Company co-founder Roy O. Disney and nephew of Walt Disney, and the last Disney family member actively involved with the company, passed away today from stomach cancer. While he worked for the Disney Corporation on and off over the course of his life, he produced some of the "True-Life Adventures", and heading the Disney Animation through a second golden age (Little Mermaid, Alladin, Beauty and the Beast, etc). He was also integral in replacing the head of the company not once (his cousin's husband and Walt's son-in law, Ron Miller in 1984), but twice (Michael Eisner in 2006, ironically, the person he helped install in 1984). For those of us born after Walt passed away in 1966, Roy's uncanny resemblance to his uncle helped created a public face to keep the Disney ideals alive for later generations.
posted by Badgermann (64 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
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Thank you for rescuing Disney. Twice.
posted by Talez at 1:53 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


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(amen, Talez)
posted by brundlefly at 1:56 PM on December 16, 2009


On second thought:

ºOº
posted by brundlefly at 1:57 PM on December 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


Very sad. I didn't know he was ill. I used to follow SaveDisney.org pretty closely, before he saved it.
posted by anazgnos at 1:59 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by Malice at 1:59 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by Atreides at 2:03 PM on December 16, 2009


Disney, who had been battling stomach cancer, died at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach

Wow, that's about half a mile from where I sit.
posted by anazgnos at 2:03 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by shakespeherian at 2:04 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by jquinby at 2:07 PM on December 16, 2009


I had no idea that Eisner had been ousted, or that there had been an internal movement to steer Disney Corp. away from the hideous and evil monster it had become.

I'm truly sad about this now, even though this was the first I'd heard about how valuable the man was.
posted by shmegegge at 2:07 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by mullingitover at 2:12 PM on December 16, 2009


Good man, Roy E..

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posted by inturnaround at 2:18 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by Thorzdad at 2:19 PM on December 16, 2009


And thanks for the excellent post, Badgermann.

I always liked Roy, and I'm particularly grateful for his championing hand-drawn animation.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:20 PM on December 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Has anyone tried clapping and really, really believing yet?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:21 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


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I went to high school with two sisters named Disney. Yes... they were related to Walt and Roy. They were both members of my high school's NJROTC unit.

Both were very nice, and very beautiful young women in their own ways.

I hope they are well.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 2:29 PM on December 16, 2009


He had a long and fascinating life. I love the stories about him deciding to quit being a figurehead and actually wield power at Disney--there's something kind of neat about it. Disneyesque, if you would.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:30 PM on December 16, 2009


Damn. I've typed and re-typed a comment about twelve times now, and nothing really salient comes out. Godspeed, Roy. I'm glad you made it long enough to see The Princess and the Frog. I'm sure it was everything you'd hoped it would be.

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posted by lekvar at 2:31 PM on December 16, 2009


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He endowed the chair at Pomona (his alma mater) that David Foster Wallace held until his (meaning Wallace's) death last year. The job is now vacant, but they are accepting applications.
posted by mattbucher at 2:31 PM on December 16, 2009


Disneyesque, if you would.

Yeah, the metaphor of the Kingdom, the Evil Vizier, (Eisner) and the Plucky Young Prince (Roy) came to mind, but I couldn't articulate it worth a damn. "Disneyesque" is exactly the word.
posted by lekvar at 2:33 PM on December 16, 2009


Roy E. Disney Has passed away
...and has left the young Disney cub orphaned, sad and alone, in the forest.
Without the help of the various anthropomorphized woodland animals, the young cub will perish for certain. If only he can find his inner strength in time to battle the evil Queen...
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...
posted by chococat at 2:34 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I loved that he had a racing sailboat named Pyewacket.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:51 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Roy E. Disney Has passed away
...and has left the young Disney cub orphaned, sad and alone, in the forest.
Without the help of the various anthropomorphized woodland animals, the young cub will perish for certain. If only he can find his inner strength in time to battle the evil Queen...
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...


Really? You're going to pull this stupid shit now? In the thread that mourns the death of the man that saved Disney from this stuff?
posted by Talez at 2:51 PM on December 16, 2009


Is there a third generation involved in the Disney Companies?

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posted by TooFewShoes at 2:52 PM on December 16, 2009


Talez, I'm pretty sure chococat was just going for playfulness. I didn't read it as pissing on the man's grave, or anything.

Also, classic Disney had more than its share of anthropomorphized woodland animals, orphaned cubs, and evil queens—so I don't really know why you got so het up about that comment.

Back on topic: R.I.P. Roy E.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:12 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by grouse at 3:36 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by gomichild at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2009


8(:-(
posted by spacely_sprocket at 3:55 PM on December 16, 2009


TooFewShoes...

As far as I know, Roy E. was the last of the Disney clan to be directly involved in the upper reaches of the corporation
posted by drewbage1847 at 4:12 PM on December 16, 2009


A Disney documentary was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival called Waking Sleeping Beauty that really piles on a lot of great respect for Roy Disney.
posted by jscott at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by Liffey at 4:19 PM on December 16, 2009


It's never a good thing when someone dies. But when someone dies at age 79 after a long, happy, and very productive life, it's hard for me to think of it as a tragedy.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:19 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by bjgeiger at 4:20 PM on December 16, 2009


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Great heir to proper Disney. Saved the company several times. Believed in the magic.
posted by cavalier at 4:28 PM on December 16, 2009


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So long, Roy.
posted by StrangeTikiGod at 4:55 PM on December 16, 2009


Almost failed some exams my first quarter of college because I was too glued to my computer checking for updates on the situation with Michael Eisner. I will honestly never forget the day he was ousted as CEO - it was such a huge deal, so cool that it was a member of the family who was trying to remake the company, and such an exciting time to care about Disney. Never got to meet Roy, but I'll miss him. The Disney name dies with him as far as Walt and Roy O's legacy is concerned.

I will miss his influence a great deal, but I'm glad he stuck around for such a long time. Good man.
posted by crinklebat at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Kimothy at 5:34 PM on December 16, 2009


Is there a good article about/overview of the Roy E. Disney vs. Eisner thing, savedisney.org, the internal movement within Disney that Roy led, etc.? It sounds like interesting stuff, and I wasn't aware of any of it until now.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:09 PM on December 16, 2009


In a way, it's the perfect ending. He saved the company, restored hand-drawn animation, and now has to move on. Just like Pete's Dragon.
posted by scrowdid at 6:11 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by ob at 6:17 PM on December 16, 2009


My reaction to this is exactly the same as my reaction to the Oral Roberts post.

Maybe this week we'll hit the trifecta!
posted by clarknova at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2009


. My kids loved Disney movies when they were little. RIP.
posted by garnetgirl at 6:24 PM on December 16, 2009


Is this a good place to post this amazing thread of pictures taken of River Country in disrepair? I'd hate to start a whole thread about something I found on Boingboing, but sheesh; the pictures are awesome.

Also; .
posted by Bageena at 6:26 PM on December 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Since 2001, the area has sat virtually *****turbed

What could that possibly be censoring? "Undis"? I'm not seeing it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:30 PM on December 16, 2009


Please ignore my last comment, excepting the .

Next time I'll read the front page all the way through before posting.
posted by Bageena at 6:37 PM on December 16, 2009


Thanks for making Disney movies that I love.

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posted by bayliss at 6:43 PM on December 16, 2009


Is there a good article about/overview of the Roy E. Disney vs. Eisner thing, savedisney.org, the internal movement within Disney that Roy led, etc.? It sounds like interesting stuff, and I wasn't aware of any of it until now.

Check out Disneywar, by James B. Stewart. Thing reads like a potboiler. Great book.

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posted by painquale at 7:13 PM on December 16, 2009


Lilo and Stitch had to be the last straw for a lot of people tied up with Disney... a movie that proved traditional Disney animation could go toe-to-toe with Pixar over the depth of its story and the beauty of its art, basically swept under the rug and underpromoted to death.

The Frog Princess doesn't quite bring us back to the level of Stitch praying to his creator, and having his creator answer, but it's lightyears beyond "Tinkerbell: The Movie."
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:39 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by harriet vane at 8:02 PM on December 16, 2009


A few years back I was sailing into Marina Del Rey in a Cal 20 which was looking pretty dodgy in the midst of renovations, covered with bondo and primer paint. But we had taken it out anyway since it was such a beautiful day in SoCal. As we rounded the breakwater we encountered Pyewacket, Roy Disney's racing boat. As we passed I looked up and there on the deck were Disney and Ted Turner smiling as they surveyed our modest craft. We exchanged hellos and a look of recognition that even though our boats were of vastly different size and quality, we were all equally enjoying sailing on a beautiful day. I liked him after that.
posted by gallois at 8:14 PM on December 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by tkchrist at 8:14 PM on December 16, 2009


As a lifelong Disney fan, thanks Roy.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:19 PM on December 16, 2009


And part of my childhood dies. Thank you Roy, for trying to hold together the Dream.

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posted by strixus at 8:21 PM on December 16, 2009


Extinct Attractions has an interview with Roy here, and a tribute podcast here.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 9:36 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by OolooKitty at 10:36 PM on December 16, 2009


Having not seen it, I'm shocked to find out that Lilo and Stitch was underpromoted. Stitch is one of the most popular characters in Japan, full stop. He's/It's up there with Hello Kitty and such, and I'd imagine way, way past Mickey Mouse (who might well trail Winnie the Pooh, actually). If you see a high school girl in Japan, chances are you'll see at least one Stitch keychain, cellphone strap, small doll, something with Stitch on it hanging from her bag. Stitch is everywhere here. I would have imagined it was more heavily promoted than God at Bible Camp.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:59 PM on December 16, 2009


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posted by aielen at 12:55 AM on December 17, 2009


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Never knew he helped bring about Mermaid, Beast, Aladdin, Lion King -- that's up there with the stuff his uncle did easily.

Thanks for the post.
posted by skepticallypleased at 2:05 AM on December 17, 2009


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What an amazing man. Those films shaped my growing-up considerably, but I never knew that The Little Mermaid (and subsequent awesomeness) was such a direct result of his intervention until the Save Disney campaign got going. I literally jumped for joy when Eisner stepped down - that moment was so huge. Thank you, Mr. Disney, for everything.
posted by po at 4:31 AM on December 17, 2009


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posted by Spatch at 5:38 AM on December 17, 2009


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:44 AM on December 17, 2009


For single-handedly pushing to get Destino not only made but made correctly, he earned my respect.
(now if only they'd release the damn thing on DVD...)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:51 AM on December 17, 2009


Having not seen it, I'm shocked to find out that Lilo and Stitch was underpromoted. Stitch is one of the most popular characters in Japan, full stop. He's/It's up there with Hello Kitty and such, and I'd imagine way, way past Mickey Mouse (who might well trail Winnie the Pooh, actually). If you see a high school girl in Japan, chances are you'll see at least one Stitch keychain, cellphone strap, small doll, something with Stitch on it hanging from her bag. Stitch is everywhere here. I would have imagined it was more heavily promoted than God at Bible Camp.

Yeah, Lilo & Stich got no love, despite being kinda awesome, and unlike say The Emperor's New Groove ( which is also amazing!) it still *felt* like a Disney movie. ENG felt more like an old WB cartoon than anything else.
posted by The Whelk at 9:32 AM on December 17, 2009


"Lilo & Stich" is more of a cult film in the US.
posted by brundlefly at 9:46 AM on December 17, 2009


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