Dis­ney movies an­i­ma­tor

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - OBITUARIES - By An­drew Dal­ton As­so­ci­ated Press

LOS AN­GE­LES — Xavier “X” Aten­cio, an an­i­ma­tor be­hind early Dis­ney movies, in­clud­ing “Pinoc­chio” and “Fan­ta­sia,” and “imag­i­neer” be­hind such beloved Dis­ney­land rides “Pi­rates of the Caribbean” and “The Haunted Man­sion,” has died at age 98.

Dis­ney­land spokes­woman Suzi Brown con­firmed a com­pany state­ment say­ing Aten­cio died Sun­day. No cause or place of death were given, but Aten­cio lived and worked in the Los An­ge­les area most of his life.

Aten­cio’s draw­ings on “Pinoc­chio” helped give Dis­ney its per­ma­nent iden­tity in film and cul­ture. His con­tri­bu­tions to “Pi­rates” in­cluded the words to the “Yo Ho (A Pi­rate’s Life for Me)” song that is sung through­out the ride and by park­go­ers for days af­ter.

He was born Fran­cis Xavier Aten­cio in Walsen­burg, Colo. But friends in his youth called him just “X,” the name he was known by the rest of his life.

He was still a teenager with a gift for draw­ing in 1938 when he be­gan work­ing for Dis­ney.

Aten­cio in 1940 helped bring “Pinoc­chio” to life and worked on the mu­si­cal and mys­ti­cal “Fan­ta­sia” be­fore leav­ing tem­po­rar­ily to serve in World War II.

Af­ter re­turn­ing, he helped de­sign stop-mo­tion se­quences for the Dis­ney live ac­tion films “The Par­ent Trap” and “Mary Pop­pins.”

When the com­pany’s work started in­clud­ing theme parks in the 1950s and 1960s, so did Aten­cio’s. He was an imag­i­neer in the com­pany’s par­lance, help­ing de­sign rides for Dis­ney­land and Dis­ney World. He wrote the story and song that play out on “Pi­rates” and “Haunted Man­sion.”

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