BURBANK, Calif., May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Joe Grant, a trusted member of Walt Disney's inner circle, one of the most extraordinary artists and storymen to ever work at The Walt Disney Studios, and the man who designed the Queen/Witch character in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," served as co-story director on "Fantasia," co-wrote "Dumbo," and conceived "Lady and the Tramp," passed away on Friday May 6th at his home in Glendale, California. He was 96 years old. Grant suffered a heart attack while working at his drawing board at his home studio. Still vital, active and full of new ideas, he continued to work four days a week at Walt Disney Feature Animation, and had been at work the day before he died. Earlier this year, Grant attended the Academy Awards®, where the short film he had conceived, "Lorenzo" (directed by Mike Gabriel), vied for "Best Animated Short." At the time of his death, he was developing several feature-length and short animation projects, in collaboration with his friend and Disney colleague, Burny Mattinson.
Grant's phenomenal career at Disney spanned more than seven decades. He
began his association with the Studio back in 1933, when Walt Disney
personally asked him to caricature celebrities of the day for the animated
short, "Mickey's Gala Premiere."