Disney Animator and Imagineer Francis Xavier ‘X’ Atencio Dies at Age 98

x atencioDisney Legend Francis Xavier “X” Atencio passed away on September 10 at the age of 98.

X was a Disney Imagineer and animator who worked on iconic Disney attractions including Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, in addition to animated films including Pinocchio and Fantasia.

He got a job at Disney in 1938 – after moving to Los Angeles to study at the Chouinard Art Institute. His first work was Pinocchio and after he was promoted to assistant animator for Fantasia.

X left Disney – temporarily – to join the Army Air Corps during World War II, but returned in 1945.

He transferred to WED Enterprises (the precursor to Imagineering) in 1965 at the request of Walt Disney himself. He played a key role in the development of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland including working on the script and music (and co-writing the theme song, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”

X retired in 1984 and was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1996.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen; his children Tori McCullough, Judianne, and Joe; his stepchildren Brian Sheedy, Kevin Sheedy, and Eileen Haubeil; sons-in-law Mike McCullough and Chris Haubeil; daughters-in-law Kathy Atencio, Trish Sheedy, and Beth Sheedy; and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Mary and a son, Jerry.


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