John Coates, one of the producers behind the animated feature adaption The Beatles’ 1968 film Yellow Submarine, has passed away. He was in his eighties. He died at home in Kent, England on Sunday following a battle with cancer.
Starting his career in film as a distributor in Asia, he went on to become one of the most respected figures in animation after working on the Fab Four’s psychedelic hit in the late 1960s.
He worked with bosses at Britain’s Channel 4 on The Snowman, which became a Christmas favorite and was nominated for an Animated Short Film Academy Award in 1983.
Coates also oversaw the production of an animated film version of classic children’s tale The Wind in the Willows for U.K. ITV and brought Beatrix Potter’s animal characters to life for a small screen series.
At the time of his death, he had been working on an updated version of The Snowman to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The new film will air in Britain this December.