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Disney TV's Pioneer Webster Passes

Michael Webster, who established Walt Disney's television animation

division in 1984, passed away at the age 60 following a long battle with

multiple sclerosis. On Saturday, January 29, 2000, Mr. Webster succumbed to

complications from pneumonia at his home in Port Townsend, Washington,

U.S.A. During his 42 year tenure, Webster created the Walt Disney

Television Animation division and served as its senior VP until his

retirement in 1992. He oversaw production of the Emmy-winning NEW

ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH and many other shows, including DUCKTALES,


DARKWING DUCK, CHIP 'N' DALE'S RESCUE RANGERS and cartoon series based on

the Disney features THE LITTLE MERMAID and ALADDIN. A Los Angeles native,

Webster's interest in animation grew after visiting Disney Studios as a

10-year-old boy. In 1957, at age 18, Webster got his start in the industry

at Quartet Films, where he moved up the ranks from cleanup man to assistant

animator working with legendary animator Art Babbitt. Afterwards, he moved

to Hanna-Barbera, where he worked on programs like THE FLINTSTONES. Webster

also worked on a series of animated commercials for Murakami Wolf Films

featuring such characters as Kellogs' Tony the Tiger, Sunkist's Charlie the

Tuna and the Jolly Green Giant. Prior to Disney, Webster spent 7 years

producing commercials for Leo Burnett Advertising. Webster is survived by

his wife of 20 years, Lynne, as well as four children and two grandsons.

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Rick DeMott
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