Eustace Lycett, special effects Oscar-winner, dies


Eustace Lycett, who spent more than 40 years bringing fantasy and magic to Disney films through special effects and won two Academy Awards, has died. He was 91.

Lycett died at a Fullerton nursing home on Nov. 16, the Walt Disney Co. said in an announcement on Monday after learning of his death.

Lycett went to work for Disney in 1937, three days after graduating from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering.

He worked on Disney's new multiplane camera that added dimension to such animated works as "Bambi" and "Pinocchio."

In 1958, he became head of the special photographic effects department. Over 43 years, he worked on many Disney favorites, including "Song of the South" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

He was nominated four times for Academy Awards. He shared two Oscars for best special visual effects for 1964's "Mary Poppins" and 1971's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks."

The latter film required elaborate effects, including complicated shots that combined animation and live actors.

Off-screen, Lycett helped engineer the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" attraction for the 1964-5 World's Fair and the Disneyland version that followed.

He also was involved in Disneyland's "Rocket to the Moon" attraction.

Lycett was born Dec. 21, 1914, in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. His father was a mining engineer and he spent his early years in Chile. He attended boarding school in England before the family moved to California.

Lycett is survived by sons Kenneth, William, Roy, and Victor, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.