British director Ken Annakin, director of several classic Disney films, has passed away at the age of 94.
Annakin's first Disney film was THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD AND HIS MERRIE MEN (1952), which coincidentally will have a long-awaited DVD release next Tuesday, April 28th.
Annakin also directed Disney's THE SWORD AND THE ROSE (1953), THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN (1959), and SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), which is an all-time favorite of many Disney fans. I have fond memories of seeing it as a child when it was rereleased in theaters.
(And as a side note, I've always been disappointed Disneyland removed the wonderful Swiss Family Treehouse...but at least it survives in Florida! And we'll see La Cabane des Robinson next month at Disneyland Paris.)
James MacArthur, star of THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN and SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, told the L.A. Times Annakin "was a general, which a director has to be, but he was a man of great intelligence and a very warm soul. But he knew what he wanted, and he was going to get it."
Annakin's non-Disney credits included co-directing THE LONGEST DAY (1962).