Daniel Gerson, a screenwriter behind some of Disney and Pixar’s most beloved animated films, including Big Hero 6 and Monsters, Inc., died Saturday in his Los Angeles home at the age of 49. He had been battling brain cancer for some time, according to his family.
The New York-born scribe got his start in the industry as a staff writer on NBC’s short-lived sitcom Something So Right in 1996. He followed that up with wiring gigs on adult animated sitcom Duckman and The New Addams Family, before breaking out into feature films with Disney/Pixar’s 2001 movie Monsters, Inc. Gerson co-wrote the successful film with Pixar’s Andrew Stanton.
He often worked with his writing partner Robert L. Baird, with whom he contributed to the animated films Chicken Little, Monsters University, Cars, Up, last year’s Oscar-winning Big Hero 6, and this year’s Oscar nominee, Inside Out.
In addition to being critical hits, Gerson’s films have grossed over $2 billion worldwide, which is no doubt a testament to his ingenuity and heart. Gerson’s last credit as a screenwriter for Disney/Pixar was the forthcoming Cars 3. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, two children, and parents.
“The main thing is just to write,” Gerson advised aspiring screenwriters during a red carpet interview with Mingle Media in 2013. “You only get better by writing and rewriting and rewriting. If you have talent, and you keep writing, you will have success eventually.”
Procrastination. We’ve all been there. But to overcome it, you just have to start doing. Gerson taught us that.
Thanks for making the world a little bit brighter, Daniel.