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Wednesday 12 June, 2024
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Rolly Crump Dead at 93, Cause of Death

BY Sharmeen Hussain Mar 14, 2023. 10:47 pm UPDATED: Mar 14, 2023. 10:47 pm

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Rolly Crump, a Disney animator who worked on early Disneyland attractions like It’s a Small World and the Enchanted Tiki Room, died on Sunday in Carlsbad, California. He was 93.

His death was announced on his autobiography’s Facebook page.

Crump did not have a formal art education, but his amateur drawings helped him get a job at the Walt Disney Company when he was only 22 years old, working on films like “Peter Pan,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “101 Dalmations,” mostly as an animation assistant.

Crump was known for his eccentric beatnik style and pop art approach, which could be seen in his personal art projects, such as a series of drug-themed posters. He designed posters for rock bands and jazz musicians, and his work caught the attention of Walt Disney, who promoted him from the animation department to Disneyland design. Crump joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1959, helping to design attractions such as the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Tomorrowland, and the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Disney Icon “Rolly was always able to see a different way of doing things,” said Tony Baxter, who worked alongside Crump on EPCOT and other Imagineering projects for Walt Disney World. That intrigued Walt Disney, who was always looking for new ideas. Rolly’s innovative approaches were often among the most memorable aspects of Disney Parks when he was correct. Another thing that set Rolly apart was his enthusiasm for creative work and being around other creative people at Imagineering.”

His tiki vision influenced other artists in the genre, as well as the South Seas design of the Disneyland Hotel’s bar Trader Sam’s. His designs continue to influence the appearance of all Disney parks.

Crump’s colourful pop art design sensibility can be seen in the original design for It’s a Small World and its iconic clock, which he created using sketches from Disney artist Mary Blair for the New York World’s Fair.

Crump, who was born in Alhambra, California, worked at Disney until the 1970s, when he left to design for other theme parks such as Knott’s Berry Farm and Busch Gardens.

He returned to Disney to design the “The Land” and “Wonders of Life” pavilions at Epcot Center. In 2004, he was named a Disney Legend.

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“It’s Kind of a Cute Story,” his autobiography, was released in 2012.

Crump’s wife, three children, and three grandchildren survive him.

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