Burny Mattinson, famed Disney animator, director and story artist, has died at the age of 87.
According to The Walt Disney Company, Mattinson, who was their longest-serving “cast member,” died Feb. 27, after battling a short illness at Canyon Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canoga Park, California.
The Instagram account for Disney Animation celebrated Mattinson's life in a post shared that same day.
"It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of beloved Disney Legend, Director, and Story Artist Burny Mattinson," the message read. "You made our world a happier place and inspired generations of artists with your heart, humor, and storytelling. Thank you for your legacy, Burny."
Mattinson had been scheduled to receive the company’s first-ever 70th anniversary service award in June of this year for his many years of contributions to a long list of beloved Disney classics.
His work included animation credits on "Lady and the Tramp" (1955), "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" (1961), "The Sword in the Stone" (1963) and "The Jungle Book" (1967), as well as his story development on "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), Aladdin (1992), "The Lion King (1994)" and so many more memorable Disney blockbusters.