Ed Hansen, longtime administrator at Disney Animation, passed away December 11. We found out about this a few days ago, but now that I've confirmed Ed's passing from multiple sources, I'm putting something up.
Ed came to the studio in 1952, and worked in the animation department for his entire Disney career. When I first got to know him, he was production manager on the animated features, working under Don Duckwall ...
I always found Ed to be pleasant and straight-forward, first to last a loyal company employee. He ran the department as efficiently as he knew how, working to juggle a lot of disparate egos and personalities.
After Don Duckwall's retirement, the unenviable job of "letting people go" fell to Ed, and he was the one who broke the bad news to any number of Disney employees over the years (me included).
And therein lies a tale.
Ed laid off John Lasseter from Disney in the early eighties. So you could argue, as some have, that Ed was the man who helped put Pixar on the high road to glory when the now-unemployed Lasseter was hired by Ed Catmull to work in bay area at some small shop that nobody had ever heard of.
Near the end of Ron Miller's time as chairman, Ed was promoted to Vice-President of Animation (for a time, he was co-Veep with new Disney employee Peter Schneider). A few years after, Ed retired, going on to a long, happy retirement in Solvang.
Our condolences to Ed's family.
Addendum: A few more factoids about Ed.
Ed started at Disney on February 11, 1952 as an apprentice inbetweener at the age of 26. In June of '52, he became an inbetweener, and in January of '54 a breakdown artist. He began work at an assistant director in July of 1955, a position he held until February, 1972 when he shifted into management.
I don't know the date of his retirement, but I think it was the late eighties ... which would have been a thirty-five or thirty-six year run as a Mouse Houser. Not too shabby.