Bill Justice, a Disney animator, passed away at a Santa Monica nursing home last Thursday. He had just turned 97. Fans might not recognize his name, but undoubtedly know some of the characters he helped bring to life by animation for Disney favorites.
He began his career with Disney in 1937 and went on to work on such classics as "Fantasia" and "Bambi." In fact, he animated Thumper, a beloved "Bambi" character, as well as fan favorites Chip and Dale. The opening Mickey Mouse March for the 1950's show "The Mickey Mouse Club" is also among his animation credits.
Not only did Mr. Justice animate for film and television, he also contributed to some well known attractions featuring Audio-Animatronic figures. After joining Disney Imagineering in the '60's, he had a hand in programming such figures for the Disleyand attractions Pirates of the Carribbean, Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress and Mission to Mars, among others. He also has ties to Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents attraction.
Oscar-nominated for his directing work in the '50's and '60's on three animated Disney shorts, Justice retired from 1979. His experiences with Disney can be found first hand the book he penned called "Justice for Disney."
Mr. Justice is survived by his wife, daughter and granddaughter.