The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation will honor Walt Disney Company chairman-CEO Michael D. Eisner with the distinction of Pioneer of the Year. Esteemed musician and Disney animation collaborator Phil Collins will perform at the 65th annual gala event set for Dec. 4 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.
Eisner joined Disney in 1984 and has guided the company through a period of unprecedented growth and success. It has also been a turbulent time that has seen the studio close animation facilities and make deep cuts in personnel.
Collins has worked with Disney on two animated features–the 1999 blockbuster Tarzan, which earned him an Oscar for the song "You’ll Be in My Heart," and the newly released adventure Brother Bear, which includes six new songs and marks his debut as a film score composer. His upcoming assignments for the Mouse House include a Broadway musical adaptation of Tarzan and new music for a Disney Video Premiere sequel to the hit film.
Past Pioneer of the Year honorees include such leaders as Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl F. Zanuck, Salah Hassanein, Frank G. Mancuso, Jack Valenti, Bernard Myerson, Terry Semel, Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, and last year’s honoree Jonathan Dolgen.
The Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund is owned and operated by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers. The Assistance Fund provides financial assistance to motion picture industry veterans who are in need of a helping hand.