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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Disney Legend Bill Justice passes away

D23 is reported this morning the passing of another Disney Legend, Bill Justice.

Bill was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1996 for his contribution in both Animation and Imagineering.  He joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1937, known then as the Disney Brothers Studios, as an animator.  Bill served as an animator on such classics as "Fantasia," "Saludos Amigos," "Victory Through Air Power," "The Three Caballeros," "Make Mine Music," "Alice in Wonderland," and "Peter Pan." Among the memorable characters he animated are the precocious Thumper on "Bambi" and the mischievous Chip´n Dale.  In the 50’s Bill directed some Academy Award nominated shorts which included "Noah´s Ark," "A Symposium On Popular Songs," and "The Truth About Mother Goose."  And along with fellow Disney Legend Xavier “X” Atencio, and artist Thornton “T” Hee, worked the meticulous practice of stop-motion animation on Disney live-action feature such as "The Parent Trap" and "Mary Poppins."  During his career as an animator, Bill contributed to 57 shorts and 19 features.

Recognized Bill’s breadth of talent, Walt Disney asked him to join WED in 1965.  During his tenure at WED (now Walt Disney Imagineering), Bill programmed Audio-Animatronics characters on such projects as, “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” “Mission to Mars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Haunted Mansion,” “Country Bear Jamboree,” and “America Sings.”

See the span of Bill Justice’s contributions to our Disney experience, his induction as a Disney Legend is only natural.  I never had the opportunity to meet Bill or listen to any of his presentations, but, his passing reminds me, once again, how precious to time is we get to spend with individuals who have provided us with so much pleasure.  Take those opportunities whenever you can…

Rest In Peace Bill Justice, and thank you for all the joy you have brought to the world…  I, for one, will remember you every time I watch a short or feature you worked, or every time I ride “Pirates” or “HM”

I am sure Walt Disney was there to welcome you to the “Happiest Place in Internity.”

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