Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Morris Sullivan, RIP

A man that has an important niche in the history of animation died August 24.

In 1979, three of Disney's top animators — including Don Bluth — left the company with a group of artists who felt production values were being compromised for the bottom line. The maverick studio they set up nearby was struggling financially when a golf partner persuaded the semiretired Sullivan to step in.

The animators screened their 1982 film "The Secret of NIMH" for him, and Sullivan responded: "I'm your guardian angel. I'm going to make this work for you," Bluth told the Los Angeles Times in 1989. "He came along at a time when we were desperate, and he saved us."

Sullivan became owner-president of what was eventually known as Sullivan Bluth Studios, which produced "An American Tail" in 1986 ...

Whether or not you like what Mr. Bluth did in the animation business, it's indisputable that he was the most prolific creator of independent cartoon features in movie history. Without Morris Sullivan, much of Mr. Bluth's oeuvre would never have happened, and a lot of talent would never have been trained.

So here's to Mr. Sullivan, animation's unheralded benefactor.


Anonymous said...

Oh joy....the guy who brought us rock-a-doodle, pebble and the penguin, secrets of nimh, thumbelina, and a troll in central park.

That's an oeuvre you can 'ave.

Anonymous said...

Completely classless, anonymous. You don't have to love the guy's body of work, but how about some common decency, eh?


Anonymous said...


Besides, "Secret Of Nihm" still looks great after all these years.

There's better design in it than in most 3d films put together.

I have to agree Troll was awful, I couldnt get past the first ten minutes, and I've never seen "Thumbelina", and I don't think I'm gonna.


Anonymous said...

And all these years, I thought "Sullivan Bluth" was Don Bluth's brother!

Anonymous said...

Actually Morris got involved after Nimh , he helped the Bluth studio set up and get American Tail and Land Before Time made .
Both These fine pictures were box office hits . Becoming Franchises & making lots of Ca$h for Universal. Sullivan Bluth became Disney Animation first rivalry in decades. More were to follow later.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds it a little sad that we have more to say on this blog about Morris Sullivan than we do about Bill Melendez?

Anonymous said...



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