Young was brother of Chinese politician Yang Qianli (father of Hong Kong director and lyric writer Evan Yang), architect Yang Xiliu, entrepreneur Yang Xiren, and Yang Renlan (mother of sociologist Fei Xiaotong). He had worked in China called Pause and New Year. Young's first work in the United States was as lead animator on the 1931 short "Mendelssohn's Spring Song", a project completed while he was a student in New York City. Disney was so impressed with his work that he hired him to be head of the new special effects animation department and he partnered with animator Ugo D'Orsi.
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston wrote in their book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, they said, "Through the entire thirties, the entire Effects Department consisted of only two men: Ugo D'Orsi, a straightforward, stubborn, and dedicated Italian, and Cy Young...quiet and sensitive...who loved to play the bass fiddle as a hobby." Thomas and Johnston added, "Since [D'Orsi and Young] did most of the careful work themselves, they needed only a single assistant between them." The department's first major project was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Young also provided the delicate visual design of the woods and meadows in Bambi. He also worked on Fantasia and Dumbo.
Young left the studio after the 1941 Disney animators' strike and worked as a staff artist and clerk at the Air Force, where he worked on various projects. He committed suicide in 1964.
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