Imagine a billionaire who loves to go to Costco and eat hot dogs. He is a guy has a fancy car but drives a smaller one because gas prices have gone up. He holds his wife’s hand during every take off of his private airplane. He believes in doing things right rather than doing things cheaply. He could be the most famous person in the room, but perhaps also the shyest. Imagine a billionaire who cared more about the team than he did about individual ego. Now, imagine that billionaire is the nephew of Walt Disney, Roy E. Disney. In Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos from a Storied Life, David A. Bossert collects and shares stories and photos of a truly wonderful man.
David A. Bossert came to work at the Walt Disney Company in 1984, shortly after graduating the year before from CalArts School of Film with a B.F.A in Character Animation. During the following decades he not only worked with Roy E. Disney, but developed a special relationship that he now shares with the reader in Remembering Roy E. Disney. This isn’t a history book or a biography. It is billed as “memories and photos of a storied life.” This truly is what it is.
For many younger Disney fans, Roy E. Disney was the man who was behind the Save Disney campaign who also happened to be related to Walt Disney. Bossert shows how much more to the story there was of Roy, as he preferred to be addressed. Bossert captures the spirit of adventure that Roy brought to his own life and the lives of those who were around him. From stories of travel aboard his private airplane to Roy’s love of sailing, there was always a new adventure to be shared with those who were dear to Roy E. Disney. The heart of Roy E. Disney is also captured and shared in this book. Roy was a man who cared dearly for those around him. He also cared deeply about the Walt Disney Company and devoted almost six decades of his professional life devoted to its success. This devotion saved the company not once but twice. It also brought about the second golden age of animation and the completion of his Uncle Walt’s and Salvador Dali’s Destino. Even with all his accomplishments and triumphs, Roy E. Disney always had time for people and remained down to earth throughout his life. Remembering Roy E. Disney paints this picture of a man with a diverse set of loves and talents.
Remembering Roy E. Disney is a very engaging read. I sat down and read it in one sitting. I found myself eating up every page and story as I learned more about who Roy E. Disney was. By the end of the book as I read about the end of his life, I genuinely felt like I was losing an old friend as I read about his fight with cancer. David A. Bassert writes this book in such a way that really does memorialize a wonderful man. Roy E. Disney left a legacy behind that will forever change the course of the Walt Disney Company. He helped take the company from a family business into what it is today, the largest entertainment company in the world. This book isn’t about these accomplishments, although they are mentioned. This is a book about the man outside of the spotlight in the words of the people who knew him. It is a beautiful tribute to Roy E. Disney and his legacy and I highly recommend reading it. I take my hat off to the book and David A. Bossert who wrote it. Go out and get it, read it, and let me know what you think!
You can get Remembering Roy E. Disney on Amazon here: