Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The animation community lost a lot of veterans this year. As we do, sadly, almost every year.

Now that we are close to Yuletide, we note those who have moved on. In case you missed their departures when they happened, you will find a partial list below the fold ...

(We'll be honoring these and many more of our late companions at our annual Afternoon of Remembrance, scheduled for February 7, 2009 at the Lasky-DeMille Barn across from the Hollywood Bowl.)

John Ahern. Layout artist, animator and director. He had a long career from which he retired in the early 2000s. -- October 29, 2008

Gordon Bellamy -- animator, designer of robots, and long-time Manhattan resident. He worked at Disney in the fifties and animated on Brad Bird's Iron Giant, but what we remember him for around here are his descriptions of the terror attacks on 9/11, for he lived blocks from the World Trade Center. -- January 29, 2008

Bob Carr -- an animator who started at Disney in the 1950s, then went on to Hanna-Barbera, Filmation and Bakshi, retiring after his work on American Pop -- September 27, 2008.

Charlie Downs -- Animator, story artist, designer, with a long career at Disney and other studios. -- July 21, 2008.

Ollie Johnston -- legendary Disney animator and the last of the Nine Old Men. He worked on almost every Disney feature between Snow White and The Fox and the Hound. Ollie was also co-author of the best-selling The Illusion of Life, an animation bible if ever there was one. -- April 14, 2008

Ted Key -- the father of America's favorite maid Hazel, but also the creator of the immortal Mr. Peabody and Sherman. -- May 3, 2008

Brice Mack -- a veteran Disney background artist (Fantasia, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp) who went on to run his own studio. -- January 2, 2008.

Bill Melendez -- animator, director producer and studio owner. He walked out of Disney's in 1941, striking with his fellow artists for better wages and treatment, but what he'll be remembered for is the "Peanuts" characters he brought to life on the television screen. A Charlie Brown Christmas and some of the others will probably run on the tube until the sun reaches its red-star phase. -- September 2, 2008.

Bob Winquist -- designer and legendary Cal Arts instructor, Bob energized and inspired countless animation artists who now lead the animation industry. -- September 10, 2008.

We're on a large ship, all of us, and as we plough through the dark water, we watch ... and remember ... as some of our fellow passengers go ashore to brighter, happier destinations.

At least, that's the way I think about it.


Site Meter