It's a sad day in the Magic Kingdom. Variety reports that Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt, has passed away at the age of 79.

Disney was involved with the company from a very early age. He worked as a writer, director, and producer with Disney until 1967. He was the producer behind the True Life Adventure nature films which won several Oscars, and are still remembered fondly by the kids of the '50s and '60s.
In 1967, he was elected to the Board of Directors. As a majority shareholder, he had a lot more influence and impact than he had on the creative level. In 1984, he became the head of the "Save Disney" movement which eventually ousted Ronald William Miller as CEO of Disney, and replaced him with Michael Eisner. He would do the same again in 2003 with Eisner, accusing him of turning Disney into a "rapacious, soul-less" company.

Disney's legacy is one that's financial and artistic, because his focus was always on the animation department. He was one of the chief reasons the studio enjoyed such a renaissance of animation in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. He was also responsible for helping repair the relationship between Disney and PIXAR after Eisner's departure. While there have been missteps even under Disney's management, he certainly fostered an atmosphere that created a lot of beautiful and legendary Disney and PIXAR films. His passing marks the end of an era.

Rest in peace, Mr. Disney.
categories Movies, Cinematical