Colorado Native Created Wonder And Memories At Disneyland

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Photo: Xavier Atencio and Walt Disney
Francis Xavier Atencio and Walt Disney.

When Francis Xavier Atencio passed away earlier this year, fans of Disneyland were quick to offer words of remembrance.

Born in Walsenburg in 1919, X as he was known to family and friends, played a key role at Disney both as an animator and an imagineer.

His talent can be seen in famous films like Pinocchio and Fantasia. He also designed the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion rides at Disneyland, and co-wrote their theme songs.


Atencio had a hand in this stop-motion scene in Disney's Babes in Toyland.

And this famous scene in Mary Poppins.

His first on-screen credit was for this 1953 film:

And you can still hear his voice when you ride the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland:

Atencio's daughter Judianne spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about her late father.