Francis Xavier Atencio, also known as X Atencio (September 4, 1919 – September 10, 2017) was an animator and Imagineer for The Walt Disney Company. He is perhaps best known for writing the scripts and song lyrics of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion, two of the most famous Disney theme park attractions.
Francis Xavier Atencio
X Atencio at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion in 2008 with Carrie Vines of the Haunted Mansion Collectibles blog.
|Born||September 4, 1919|
Walsenburg, Colorado, United States
|Died||September 10, 2017 (aged 98)|
|Occupation||Imagineer, writer, lyricist, animator, voice actor|
Atencio was born in Walsenburg, Colorado in 1919. He was a Disney artist from 1938 to 1965, when he became an Imagineer to help design the Disneyland Railroad's Primeval World diorama segment. He then contributed to various Disney attractions. He wrote the scripts for Adventure Thru Inner Space and Pirates of the Caribbean. For the latter, he also penned the lyrics of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" and provided the voices of various characters, including the talking skull that appears before the waterfall that carries riders into the main body of the attraction.
He also wrote the script for the Haunted Mansion, and the lyrics of its theme song, "Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song)." His voice can also be heard emanating from the coffin in the Mansion's conservatory scene. In the Disneyland Mansion, it is Atencio who reads the emergency spiel when the ride comes to a halt.
Another brief voice-over Atencio provided was for the Submarine Voyage Thru Liquid Space, where he is addressed as "Bridge." He also wrote the lyrics to Buddy Baker's music for the retired Magic Kingdom attraction If You Had Wings.
Atencio served as a photo interpreter in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1941 to 1945 during World War II, reaching the rank of captain in the 2nd Photo Tech Squadron. Stationed in England, he was part of a team that analyzed aerial surveillance.
- U.S. Census, 1 January 1920, State of Colorado, County of Huerfano, enumeration district 83, p. 27-A.
- "Legendary Disney Animator and Imagineer Francis Xavier "X" Atencio passes away at age 98". D23 – The Official Disney Fan Club. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- Tchekmedyian, Alene (11 September 2017). "Francis Xavier Atencio dies; Disney animator who co-wrote 'Yo, Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)' was 98" – via LA Times.
- Dalton, Andrew (12 September 2017). "'Pinocchio,' 'Fantasia' animator 'X' Atencio dead at 98 - The Washington Post". Washington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- DoomBuggies.com. "History of the Haunted Mansion – Chapter Five: Developing a Spooky Soundtrack". Retrieved 1 May 2009.
- National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
- Passenger list of the Queen Mary, port of New York, 21 August 1945.
-  Archived January 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Dunn, T., 2012, Nova (TV series): 3D Spies of WWII, DVD, United States
- Surrell, Jason. (2003). The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5419-7. Describes X Atencio's contributions to The Haunted Mansion.
- Surrell, Jason. (2005). Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5630-0. Describes X Atencio's contributions to Pirates of the Caribbean.