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In Honor of X Atencio

 
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bison74
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Joined: May 21, 2013
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Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject: In Honor of X Atencio Reply with quote

Hey there, everyone! If you hadn't heard, on September 10th, X Atencio passed away. Though he'll always be remembered as the man who helped bring Pirates, Mansion, and World of Motion to life, he had an incredible career - he even won an Academy Award.

I had read this article recently and wanted to share it - I learned more about the legacy of this man than I had ever known. It's amazing.

https://d23.com/23-questions-with-x-atencio/

We were lucky to have him, and I don't think anyone would disagree that his impact - especially on the parks ... well, gosh, "incredible" seems like an insane understatement.
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daveypoo
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Joined: Jun 22, 2005
Posts: 4275
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to be a member of D23 to be able to read this. Sorry,,,
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bison74
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, how crazy! A buddy sent it to me originally - and I had no problem reading it. It never occurred to me that it would be exclusive.

Let me at least sum up some of the more incredible parts:
*He was 18 and in his first year of art school when he tried to get a summer job at the studio - figuring he could get a few months in and brag to his friends that he once worked at Disney Studios. During the interview, after reviewing his portfolio, they offered him a full time position as an in-betweener (which he said was a rough job).

*The first film he worked on was Pinocchio, he was one of Wollie Reitherman's assistants. He worked on Monstro the whale and some of Jiminy (but mostly Monstro).

*He had been in Walt's presence, but never introduced. Then one day, he was waiting for an elevator and realized Walt was standing next to him. On a lark, he said "Hi, Walt", and Walt replied "Hi, X, how are you?" - he was flabbergasted that Walt knew who he was.

*He was part of the strike in the 1940s; however, the studio let him come back after everything settled. He left again to fight in WWII, but returned again when he was discharged three years later.

*He won an Academy Award in 1953 for Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom.

*For those of you who have ever read the Neal Gabler biography, there's a section about the rise of the UPA animation studio, which gave Disney some competition. X recalled a story where he asked Walt if they should start mirroring UPA's style in order to compete. Walt's reply: "“They’re making pictures for the intellect, we’re making pictures for the heart. And there’s a heck of a lot more heart than there are intellects.”

*X claimed that his favorite job was working for WED, and like so many artists who worked for Disney, he just fell into songwriting.

My absolute favorite part of the interview: At one point they asked X what he felt about all the changes they've made to Pirates (which X claims he likes just a little more than Mansion). While X said he liked the additions of Jack Sparrow, he was not as thrilled with the changing of the chase scenes, stating: "... this is Pirates of the Caribbean not Boy Scouts of the Caribbean!"

I'm just summarizing parts - it really is a great interview. He also talked about how Walt stressed the Haunted Mansion was not supposed to be about blood and gore, and there was a definite stress on the fact that the ghosts were just wanting to party and play.

Again, the impact he had is just hard to put into words.
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