Robert Broughton, 91, a pioneering camera effects artist for Walt Disney productions who worked on nearly every Disney motion picture from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937 to “The Black Hole” in 1979, died Jan. 19 in Rochester, Minn., according to his son Dan.

Mr. Broughton’s job was to create spectacular effects in a subtle way, according to a profile on the Disney Legends Web site. By using color traveling matte composite cinematography, Mr. Broughton helped Dick Van Dyke dance with animated penguins in “Mary Poppins.” He also created the visual effect that made Hayley Mills appear as twins in “The Parent Trap,” his son said. And he worked on the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds,” providing the visual effects of the fluttering, menacing birds when Hitchcock contracted out the special effects work to Disney.


During World War II, Mr. Broughton was a cameraman in the field photographic branch of the Office of Strategic Services. The unit was headed by director John Ford, and Mr. Broughton photographed a film by Ford on the Battle of Midway.

After the war, Mr. Broughton returned to Disney, where he worked until his retirement in 1982.

Source: Los Angeles Times