Animator, graphic artist Corny Cole dead at 81~

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Cornelius "Corny" Cole

Cor­nelius “Corny” Cole

Long­time ani­ma­tor and graphic artist Cor­nelius “Corny” Cole died early Mon­day morn­ing, his close friend, ani­ma­tor Bob Kurtz, con­firmed. He was report­edly 81.

Cole had been suf­fer­ing with MSA (Mul­ti­ple Sys­tem Atrophy).

He served as a fac­ulty mem­ber at CalArts for 15 years and taught life draw­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern California,

Born (in 1930) and raised in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Cole designed the Oscar-winning 1970 short sub­ject Is It Always Right To Be Right?. That year, he won a Cleo Award for his work on commercials.

At DePatie-Freleng Enter­prises, with which he was long asso­ci­ated, he was the lead graphic designer for the ground­break­ing ani­mated title sequence of the 1963 movie The Pink Pan­ther.

A fine art major at Chouinard Art School, he began in ani­ma­tion in 1954 as an in-betweener on Disney’s Lady And The Tramp, released the fol­low­ing year. Though uncred­ited, he was an effects ani­ma­tor for Warner Bros.’ leg­endary What’s Opera, Doc? (1957).

Work­ing in the late 1950s for UPA, he moved on to WB in the early 1960s. Cole finally received screen credit for the 1961 Looney Tune Lickety-Splat, with Wile E. Coy­ote and the Road Run­ner — and directed by Chuck Jones. He was a pro­duc­tion designer for Jones on the fea­ture fims Gay Purr-ee (1962) and The Phan­tom Toll­booth (1970)

Cole was a lay­out artist for the TV series Linus! The Lion Hearted (1964), The Secret Squir­rel Show (1965), The Super 6 (1966), Super Pres­i­dent (1967), The Pink Pan­ther Show (1969), The Bugs Bunny/Road Run­ner Show (1978) and Alvin & the Chip­munks (1987).

He was a char­ac­ter designer on The New Adven­tures of Huck­le­berry Finn (1968) and a sto­ry­board artist on Emer­gency +4 (1973), and a sto­ry­board direc­tyor on My Lit­tle Pony ‘n Friends (1987). As well, he was the title designer on the 1966 live-action series Mr. Ter­rific.

The designer on the Ant & The Aard­vark the­atri­cal shorts for DFE, Cole did pro­duc­tion design on the movies Shin­bone Alley (1971) and Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musi­cal Adven­ture (1977). He was the design devel­oper for TMS’ unsuc­cess­ful 1989 ani­mated fea­ture film Lit­tle Nemo: Adven­tures in Slum­ber­land.

Other ani­mated movies that he worked on included The Mouse and His Child (1977), Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie and Heavy Metal (both 1981), Bugs Bunny’s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rab­bit Tales (1982), My Lit­tle Pony: The Movie (1986), The Chip­munk Adven­ture (1987), Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992) and the long-delayed The Princess and the Cob­bler (1993).

He was a pro­duc­tion designer or direc­tor on the TV spe­cials Mis­ter Magoo’s Christ­mas Carol (1962), Clerow Wil­son and the Mir­a­cle of P.S. 14 (1972), Clerow Wilson’s Great Escape (1974), I Love the Chip­munks Valen­tine Spe­cial (1984) and A Chip­munk Reunion (1985).

He was an ani­ma­tor and graphic designer for The Naked Ape (1973), and the title designer for the soft-core sci-fi spoof Flesh Gor­don (1974). In addi­tion, he was the ani­ma­tion direc­tor for the live-action Doris Day movie With Six You Get Eggroll (1968).

Cole also worked at Murakami-Wolf and Hanna Barbera.

This busi­ness has lost one of its great­est icons, as all his friends, and stu­dents at CalArts, will attest,” said Bob Fos­ter, pres­i­dent of The Ani­ma­tion Guild (TAG), Local 839 IATSE.

The Ani­ma­tion Guild had long ago sched­uled a gallery show of Corny’s work for this com­ing Octo­ber and, at the urg­ing of Corny’s fam­ily, we will still have that show. But now it will be far big­ger and more impor­tant. It will be a cel­e­bra­tion,” Fos­ter con­tin­ued. “We’ll have details as we con­firm everything.”

Infor­ma­tion about memo­r­ial ser­vices also will be announced later.

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MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.

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