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It’s always sad when we lose a great talent in the movie industry. While Daniel Gerson was not exactly a household name, he was, nonetheless, part of creating some of the most memorable animated films of recent years. As a writer, Gerson had screenplay credits for several of Disney and Pixar’s biggest hits including Monsters, Inc. and its sequel, as well as Big Hero 6. Unfortunately, we will be missing his talents going forward as Daniel Gerson passed away February 6 following a battle with brain cancer. He was only 49 years old.
Gerson leaves behind a wife of 20 years, Beau Stacom, as well as two children, Claire and Asher. According to the New York Times obituary, the writer died peacefully in his home in Los Angeles. Beginning in 2001, Dan Gerson began working with Disney/Pixar by co-writing the screenplay for Monsters, Inc. along with Pixar heavyweight Andrew Stanton. In addition to his major screenplay work, he also assisted with additional screenplay material for Disney features like Chicken Little and Cars.
Monster’s Inc. was Pixar’s fourth feature film, making it still very early in the studio’s life. The film was actually the first Pixar movie nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, as it came out during the award’s inaugural year. While Monsters, Inc. failed to capture the award, because somehow the people who make these decisions actually thought Shrek was a better movie, Daniel Gerson would see one of the movies he wrote eventually capture the Oscar when Big Hero 6 captured the prize in 2015. In addition to writing the screenplay, Daniel Gerson also voiced the character of the police desk sergeant. He can be heard in the film’s trailer.
While Big Hero 6 was Gerson’s most recent work it won’t be his last. He was one of the screenwriters for the upcoming Cars 3, set for release in the summer of 2017. While we don’t know much of anything about what the new film will be about, Daniel Gerson’s track record writing for Disney has been solid, so we expect to see great things from his final film.
It’s terrible to hear about such a great writer and family man being lost at such a young age. We seem to be losing far too many talented individuals in 2016. Have we said Fuck Cancer? Because Fuck Cancer.