(From left to right: Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Disney Legend Richard Sherman and wife Elizabeth Sherman, Disney Legend Karen Dotrice,Disney and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation President Ed Catmull, Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke and wife Arlene Van Dyke, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production President Sean Bailey, Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, Disney Animation Studios President Andrew Millstein.)
By Jeffrey Epstein
Today, December 15, marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s passing, and to commemorate Walt’s enduring legacy of creativity and innovation, Disney Legend Richard Sherman visited the Walt Disney Studios lot and performed a selection of his timeless songs. Like visiting an old friend, Richard sat down at the grand piano in Walt Disney’s office suite—the very same one he and his brother, Robert, frequently would play on for Walt over the years.
Disney luminaries in attendance included Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Disney and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation President Ed Catmull, Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline, frequent Disney contributor Leonard Maltin, and Disney Legends Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice, Dave Smith, and Tony Baxter.
Guests couldn’t help but get emotional as Sherman sat at the keys playing “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” “The Whimsy Works” (an original composition Richard wrote about Walt and working on the Studio Lot), and “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins—one of Walt’s favorite songs.
As a tribute to Walt, Bob read from a message Walt’s brother Roy O. Disney sent to all Disney employees on December 15, 1966. “There is no way to replace Walt Disney. He was an extraordinary man. Perhaps there will never be another like him,” Iger read. “It was Walt’s wish that when the time came he would have built an organization with the creative talents to carry on as he had established and directed it through the years. Today this organization has been built and we will carry out his wish…”
Watch Richard sing “Feed the Birds” and “The Whimsy Works” below.