Daniel Gerson, a Disney screenwriter who worked for the oscar-winner Big Hero 6, and the two Monsters Inc. films, died on Saturday at the age of 49 at his home in Los Angeles, as a consequence of brain cancer, according to family announcements that were published on Monday.
The beloved screenwriter, who graduated from Cornell University and received an MFA from NYU film school, died peacefully on February 6 in Los Angeles. Gerson was the co-writer of Monsters Incorporated, which is one of the most successful products of the Pixar Animation Studios.
He also collaborated in the writing of Monsters University, which appeared on theaters in 2013 and had a box office of $743 million. Moreover, he worked with Robert L. Baird and Jordan Roberts on Big Hero 6, a film developed by Walt Disney Animation, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2015.
“Daniel expressed a unique zest for life, its big and little moments, and brought that spirit to all of his loved ones. His sense of humor was exceptional. Beyond his creative talents, what distinguished Daniel was a profound commitment to honesty, fairness and concern for the less fortunate. He was a fiercely loyal, loving and caring human being. The humanity, humor, and compassion that he brought to his writing, he brought to his family and friends in equal measure,” wrote his family on Monday.
Chicken Little (2005), Cars (2006), Open Season (2006), Meet the Robinsons (2007), Up (2009), and Inside Out (2015), were other films that had the fortune of receiving the collaboration of the screenwriter.
Gerson, who won a BAFTA award and who was nominated three times for the Annie Awards, said in 2013 that he and Baird wanted to surprise the audience with an astonishing prequel of Monsters Inc., which was his favorite work.
His family wrote on Monday that a service will be held in Los Angeles and that donations in memory of the screenwriter may be made to Dr. Linda Liau, Brain Tumor Program at UCLA, which investigates about molecular biology of brain tumors, gene therapy, immunotherapy, and brain cancer vaccines.
Lee Unkrich, who directed Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 3, wrote on Tuesday that “there’s a little less laughter in the world” since Daniel Gerson is gone. David Silverman, who also directed Monsters Inc., said on Monday “Very sad news: RIP Dan Gerson, whom I worked w/ on Monsters, Inc. Great screenwriter & voice actor, will be missed.”
Source: Daniel Gerson obituary