Don Iwerks

Donald Warren Iwerks (/ˈaɪwɜːrks/; born July 24, 1929[1]) is a former Disney executive, an Oscar winner, and co-founder of Iwerks Entertainment along with former Disney executive Stan Kinsey. He is the son of the animator Ub Iwerks (Walt Disney's original business partner and co-creator of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit) and father of Oscar nominated documentary film producer Leslie Iwerks.

Don Iwerks
Donald Warren Iwerks

July 24, 1929 (age 89)
United States
Known forDisney executive;
Iwerks Entertainment
ChildrenLeslie Iwerks
Parent(s)Mildred Sarah Henderson
Ub Iwerks


In 1950, Iwerks joined the Disney company in the machine shop as a technician.

In 1954, Iwerks got a camera technician position for the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, starring Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre. He would spend the next 30 years driving film innovations for the Disney company.[2] Notable contributions include the first 360 film techniques, 360-degree camera, and first Circle-Vision 360 film, America the Beautiful, and developing the process for creating seamless live action shots with animated backgrounds.[3]

In 1985, after nearly 35 years at Disney, Don left to form his own company called Iwerks Entertainment. Iwerks became a leading developer of special films, special venues, and virtual reality theaters throughout the world.[4][5]


On March 23, 1998, at the 70th Academy Awards show, Don received an Oscar. He was awarded the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, which is given each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."[6][7]

On March 21, 1999, at the 71st Academy Awards show, an Oscar for Scientific and Technical Achievement was presented to Iwerks Entertainment for an innovation called the Iwerks 8/70 Linear Loop projection system.

In 2009, Don was inducted by Robert A. Iger and Roy E. Disney as a Disney Legend, honoring him as an individual whose "imagination, talents and dreams have created the Disney magic."[8]


  1. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009".
  2. ^ Filmography. "Don Iwerks". IMDb.
  3. ^ Camera Processes. "1999 Don Iwerks". Disneyana Fan Club.
  4. ^ Apodaca, Patrice. "The Theater of the Future Is a Virtual Reality". Los Angeles Times Newspaper.
  5. ^ Family Sites Network. "Iwerks Entertainment and the Film Projection Systems for Disney parks". The Disney Fun Fact of the Day Blog.
  6. ^ NNDB. "Oscar, Gordon E. Sawyer Award". Soylent Communications.
  7. ^ Fact for the Day. "This Day in Disney History". The Walt Disney Company.
  8. ^ Legend, Bio. "Disney Legends". The Walt Disney Company.

External links

America the Beautiful (Disney film)

America the Beautiful was a Circle-Vision 360° movie attraction in Disneyland In California and Walt Disney World in Florida. The footage first shot in 1955 and ran in Disney Circle-Vision 360 film theaters.Circle-Vision 360 is a film technique that uses multiple cameras arranged in a circle. The viewing image is displayed on a large circular screen. The film's rendition of the title song would later be used in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

360 film technology was created and refined by Disney Legends Don Iwerks and Ub Iwerks in the 1950s.

Bob Rogers (designer)

Bob Rogers is founder and chairman of BRC Imagination Arts, an experience design agency Rogers oversees the creative elements of all BRC projects, serving clients like Coca-Cola, NASA, Disney, Universal Studios, Ford, General Motors, China Mobile, China Telecom, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He served on the board of directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2014 to 2015.Rogers is also a film and television director and producer who has earned two Academy Award nominations, for the live action short films Ballet Robotique and Rainbow War plus a Los Angeles Emmy Award nomination as the producer of the documentary short The Wedge: Dynasty, Tragedy, Legacy. Rogers has also served as executive producer or consultant on pavilions at world's fairs around the world, including Expo 86 in Vancouver, Expo 88 in Brisbane, Expo '90 in Oaska, Japan, Expo '92 in Seville, Taejon Expo '93 in Korea, Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan, and most recently Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and the Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy.

Disney Legends

The Disney Legends Awards is a hall of fame program that recognizes individuals who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to The Walt Disney Company. Established in 1987, the honor was traditionally awarded annually during a special private ceremony; since 2009, it has been awarded biennially during Disney's D23 Expo.Recipients are chosen by a selection committee, formerly appointed and chaired by Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney's nephew, former vice chairman and director emeritus of The Walt Disney Company. The committee consists of long-time Disney executives, historians, and other authorities. Besides the award statuette itself, each honoree is represented by a bronze commemorative plaque; featuring the recipients' handprints and signature if they were living when inducted, or simply an image of the statuette emblem if the induction was posthumous. The plaques are placed on display in Legends Plaza at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, across from the Michael D. Eisner Building. Legends also receive a Disney Golden Pass, a lifetime pass to all Disney theme parks.

Disneyana Fan Club

Disneyana or The Disneyana Fan Club was founded in 1984 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Walt Disney's legacy. Its published aim is to provide Disneyana enthusiasts worldwide with news, information, and events designed to enhance their "experience with, and love of, all things Disney." The club has twenty-five chapters in the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. Disneyana has held an annual convention since the early 1990s which pre-dates collector events produced by the Disney company by over a decade.

Gordon E. Sawyer Award

The Gordon E. Sawyer Award is an Honorary Award given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry." The award is named in honour of Gordon E. Sawyer, the former Sound Director at Samuel Goldwyn Studio and three-time Academy Award winner who claimed that a listing of past Academy Awards, arranged both chronologically and by category, represents a history of the development of motion pictures. It was first presented at the 54th Academy Awards, in April 1982. The Gordon E. Sawyer Award is voted upon and given by the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Academy.

Leslie Iwerks

Leslie Iwerks () (born 1970) is an American producer, director, and writer. She is daughter of Disney Legend Don Iwerks and granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, the animator and co-creator of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. She has directed films including Recycled Life which was nominated for an Academy Award and The Pixar Story which was nominated for an Emmy for best nonfiction special.She is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the International Documentary Association.

She has worked with non-profit organizations Save Our Seas, Safe Passage, NRDC, and Sierra Club to raise awareness on matters affecting the globe. She currently helms Santa Monica-based production company Iwerks & Co.

List of Disney Main Street window honors

This is a list of windows on Main Street, U.S.A. at the Disney resorts. The names painted in the windows serve as credits for some of the many people who contributed in some manner to the parks (Disneyland Paris being an exception, where some refer to characters or stories from Disney films and shows). Typically they appear as fictional businesses (realtors, dentists, etc.), and often refer to a hobby of or development made by the person honored. Bob Gurr's window, for example, refers to his development of most vehicles at the park.

According to Marty Sklar, "to add a name [on a window] today, there are three requirements: (1) Only on retirement. (2) Only the highest level of service/respect/achievement. (3) Agreement between top individual park management and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates the design and copy concepts."Windows are listed in alphabetical order by last name.


SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment specializes in high-tech entertainment systems, films, film technologies, film-based software, Simulation Hardware Systems and services around the world. The company is a leading innovator of immersive 3-D and 4-D attractions, special effects, and cinematic experiences; including Large Format (870 Projection Systems) and 360 Degree Theatres. It is the first to employ motion simulators and 4D seat technologies and today it is pioneer in the use of flying seats, unique special effects, projection mapping, VR, AI, animation and Interactive technologies. The company has partnerships with various institutions, parks, and destinations.

The company has been serving the amusement industry for 30 years, through three operating divisions: Attractions Development; Content Licensing, Production & Distribution; and Technology/Engineering.SimEx Inc. is the parent company of SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment. The company is based in Toronto, Canada with additional locations in Baltimore, Maryland; and Santa Clarita, California.

Stan Kinsey

Stan Kinsey is a former Disney executive and co-founder of Iwerks Entertainment, along with Oscar winner and Disney Legend Don Iwerks. Kinsey is best known as a visionary who sought to take The Walt Disney Company in the direction of computer animated films (chronicled in the books Disney War and The Pixar Touch).

Ub Iwerks

Ub Iwerks, A.S.C. (; March 24, 1901 – July 7, 1971) was an American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, and special effects technician, who created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse. The works Iwerks produced alongside Walt Disney went on to win numerous awards, including multiple Academy Awards.

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