Tag Archives: Obituary

Arthur Rankin Passes Away

Arthur_RankinArthur Gard­ner Rankin, Jr. has passed away at 89. He was an Amer­i­can direc­tor, pro­ducer and writer, who mostly worked in ani­ma­tion. A found­ing part­ner of Rankin/Bass Pro­duc­tions- with Jules Bass– he gained fame with such stop-action ani­ma­tion fea­tures as Rudolph the Red Nosed Rein­deer and the 1977 car­toon ani­ma­tion of The Hob­bit.

Read More →

Animator Michael Sporn Passes Away

MichaelSpornPio­neer­ing Amer­i­can ani­ma­tor Michael Sporn passed away Sat­ur­day after suf­fer­ing from pan­cre­atic can­cer. Sporn pro­duced and directed a num­ber of ani­mated spe­cials and com­mer­cials from his New York based stu­dios. Many of his works were known for their under­ly­ing social com­men­tary and mes­sages. He was also known for films aimed at edu­cat­ing chil­dren rather than just enter­tain­ing them.

Read More →

Bob Godfrey dead, age 91

Bob Godfrey

Bob God­frey

Britain’s best-loved ani­ma­tor Bob God­frey, cre­ator of Roo­barb & Cus­tard and Henry’s Cat, died on Thurs­day 20h Feb­ru­ary aged 91.

Born in New South Wales, Aus­tralia, in Jan­u­ary 27 1921 of British par­ents, he was brought home to Eng­land at the age of 6 months.

Con­tinue read­ing “Bob God­frey dead, age 91” »

Cartoon Research Guru Ethan Minovitz Passes Away

Ethan Minovitz

Ethan Minovitz

Ethan Minovitz, the self-proclaimed ani­ma­tion research guru of the Big Car­toon Data­Base, passed away from nat­ural causes at his home in Van­cou­ver, British Colum­bia on Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 1st, 2013. His name should be famil­iar to any­one who fol­lows this blog and the Big Car­toon Forum, and he was a vora­cious poster of news and trivia on both. His con­tri­bu­tions to the site go much deeper than what the casual observer can notice, though. He was, in many ways, the heart and soul of BCDB.

Ethan was born in 1962 in his native British Colum­bia. He attend Eric Ham­ber High School and grad­u­ated in 1980. He com­peted on the school team for Reach For The Top National Finals, and his team won the com­pe­ti­tion. Mr. Minovitz was very active in his local Jew­ish Center.

Ethan is sur­vived by his older sis­ter Lise of New York, and his father, also in Van­cou­ver. Ethan Minovitz’s funeral is planned for Wednes­day, 2 PM at the Schara Tzedeck Cemetary at 2345 Marine Drive, New West­min­ster, BC V3M 6R8.  Details on shiva ser­vices are to be arranged.

In Decem­ber, 2009, he trav­eled with a group of vol­un­teers to the Cuba-America Jew­ish Mis­sion in Havana, where he worked with the group for two weeks. Ethan was also vocal with the Van­cou­ver Jew­ish Folk Choir, singing in con­certs when­ever he could. Ethan’s Jew­ish her­itage was very impor­tant to him, and his faith was strong.

He joined the BCDB about ten years ago, and it was imme­di­ately obvi­ous that Ethan was at home in our group. He was an earnest and com­pe­tent con­trib­u­tor, and it was not long until I asked him to be a moderator.

Ethan’s love of ani­ma­tion showed– he had tremen­dous knowl­edge on the sub­ject. And what he did not know, he would research. That was one thing about Ethan, the man knew how to look some­thing up. He soon became our res­i­dent expert on just about anything.

Ethan in Cuba

Ethan in Cuba

Ethan was always a calm­ing force within BCDB, too. We have always been a fairly calm site, but there were occa­sions where tem­pers grew and egos grew larger. Ethan was the peace­maker, Ethan found a way to solve all the prob­lems that came up.

Ethan always had a kind word for every­one. He was the first per­son to post a wel­come mes­sage to any­one who joined our forums. I never asked him to, he just did. That is the kind of man Ethan was, and that is some­thing I specif­i­cally admired about him.

A few years ago, we decided to start a news sec­tion of the forum. It is hard and a lot of work to pub­lish 2 or 3 sto­ries every day there. I know– I have tried. Ethan did it, every day, on his own and with no com­plaints. I did not even ask him, he just stepped up and did it. It is ironic now to think about, but one of Ethan’s pas­sions was post­ing obit­u­ar­ies to the news sec­tion. We had a con­test, he and I– who could get the big ones first. Ethan usu­ally won.

But Ethan’s biggest con­tri­bu­tion to BCDB is the one no one here ever saw. And this again gets back to his tag as Research Guru. Any day of the week, Ethan con­tributed numer­ous new car­toons for inclu­sion in the data­base. None of you ever saw this, because they went direct to me. Hun­dreds of Excel spread sheets a year. He for­mat­ted his finds in such a way it made it easy for me to slip them into the data­base. He would go on tears… some­times Japan­ese, some­times Russ­ian, some­times Czech. I would feel over bur­dened when get­ting them, and then I would think about all the work to find, sort and enter them into Excel. THAT would be over­whelm­ing.… but that was what Ethan did behind the scenes. Ethan con­tributed at least 55,000 car­toons this way.

But most impor­tantly, Ethan was my friend. We talked a lot. Some­times about BCDB and what and where it was going. But often about other things. His trips to Israel were always a point of joy for him, and I loved lis­ten­ing to his sto­ries. While we never met face-to-face, we knew each other very well. And I am proud to call him my friend.

As I sit here and miss my friend, I am also want­ing to do some­thing a lit­tle more per­ma­nent for him at BCDB. He was such an impor­tant part of get­ting us to where we are today, I want to make the BCDB a lit­tle more about him. I am not sure how I will accom­plish this yet, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.

In the mean­time, I can only wish my friend safe travels.

Sitar Maestro, Composer Ravi Shankar Dead at 92

RAVI SHANKAR

RAVI SHANKAR

Leg­endary sitarist and com­poser Ravi Shankar died at 4:30 p.m. Tues­day at Scripps Memo­r­ial Hos­pi­tal in La Jolla, Cal­i­for­nia, the Ravi Shankar Foun­da­tion announced. He was 92.

Over the past year, Shankar had suf­fered from upper-respiratory and heart prob­lems. He was hos­pi­tal­ized last Thurs­day after com­plain­ing of breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. Although heart-valve replace­ment surgery was suc­cess­ful, recov­ery proved too dif­fi­cult for him, the foun­da­tion said.

Years before the Bea­t­les made him famous, Shankar helped pro­vide impro­vised music for the partly ani­mated 1957 National Film Board of Canada short A Chairy Tale, a fairy tale in the mod­ern man­ner, told with­out words by film artist Nor­man McLaren. In the film, a chair (ani­mated by Eve­lyn Lam­bart) that declines to be sat upon and a young man per­form a sort of pas de deux. A strug­gle ensues, first for mas­tery and then for understanding.

The short film was com­pletely edited before sound of the ani­ma­tion was con­sid­ered,” said Karin Gunn of the Teach Ani­ma­tion site. “At that time, the dis­tin­guished composer-performer sitarist, Ravi Shankar, had come to Mon­treal. After being invited to view the silent film, he expressed a keen inter­est in com­pos­ing the music.”

A Chairy Tale was nom­i­nated for an Oscar for Best Short Sub­ject, Live Action Sub­jects. It won the Cana­dian Film Award for Best Arts and Exper­i­men­tal, and a Spe­cial Award at the BAFTA Awards.

Shankar was India’s most esteemed musi­cal ambas­sador, and a sin­gu­lar phe­nom­e­non in the clas­si­cal music worlds of East and West. As a per­former, com­poser, teacher and writer, he did more for Indian music than any other musician.

He was well-known for his pio­neer­ing work in bring­ing Indian music to the West. This, how­ever, he did only after long years of ded­i­cated study under his illus­tri­ous guru, Baba Allaudin Khan, and after mak­ing a name for him­self in India.

Always ahead of his time, Shankar wrote three con­cer­tos for sitar and orches­tra, the last in 2008. He also authored violin-sitar com­po­si­tions for Yehudi Menuhin and him­self, music for flute vir­tu­oso Jean Pierre Ram­pal, music for shakuhachi mas­ter Hosan Yamamoto and koto vir­tu­oso Musumi Miyashi-ta, and col­lab­o­rated with Phillip Glass (Passages).

For­mer Bea­tle George Har­ri­son pro­duced and par­tic­i­pated in two record albums, Shankar Fam­ily & Friends and Fes­ti­val of India, both com­posed by Ravi Shankar.

Shankar also com­posed for bal­lets and films in India, Canada, Europe and the United States — the last includ­ing the movies Charly, Gandhi and the Apu Trilogy.

In the period of the awak­en­ing of the younger gen­er­a­tion in the mid-1960s, Shankar gave three mem­o­rable con­certs: the Mon­terey Pop Fes­ti­val, the Con­cert for Bangla Desh and the Wood­stock Festival.

An hon­orary mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Arts and Let­ters, Shankar was a mem­ber of the United Nations Inter­na­tional Ros­trum of com­posers. He received many awards and hon­ors from his own coun­try and from around the world, includ­ing 14 doc­tor­ates, the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vib­hushan, Desikot­tam, Padma Bhushan of 1967, the Music Coun­cil UNESCO award 1975, the Magsaysay Award from Manila, two Gram­mys, the Fukuoka grand Prize from Japan, the Polar Music Prize of 1998 and the Crys­tal award from Davos.

In 1986, he was nom­i­nated as a mem­ber of the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of Parliament.

Deeply moved by the plight of more than eight mil­lion refugees who came to India dur­ing the Bangla Desh Free­dom strug­gle from Pak­istan, Shankar wanted to help in any way he could. He planned to arrange a con­cert to col­lect money for the refugees.

He approached his dear friend, Har­ri­son, to help him raise money for this cause. This human­i­tar­ian con­cern from Shankar sowed the seed of the con­cept for the Con­cert for Bangla Desh. With Harrison’s help, this con­cert became the first mag­nus effort in fundrais­ing, paving the way for many oth­ers to do char­ity concerts.

His record­ing Tana Mana, released on the pri­vate Music label in 1987, brought Shankar’s music into the “New Age” with its unique method of com­bin­ing tra­di­tional instru­ments with electronics.

In 1989, he cel­e­brated his 50th year of con­cer­tiz­ing, and the Birm­ing­ham Tour­ing Opera Com­pany com­mis­sioned him to do a Music The­atre (Ghanashyam — a bro­ken branch), which cre­ated his­tory on the British arts scene.

He was born Robindra Shankar on April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, India, and was the youngest of four brothers,

Ravi Shankar has brought me a pre­cious gift, and through him, I have added a new dimen­sion to my expe­ri­ence of music. To me, his genius and his human­ity can only be com­pared to that of Mozart’s,” Menuhin reflected.

Har­ri­son once said: “Ravi Shankar is the God­fa­ther of World Music.”

Ravi Shankar is sur­vived by wife Sukanya, daugh­ter Norah Jones, daugh­ter Anoushka Shankar Wright and hus­band Joe Wright, and three grand­chil­dren and four great-grandchildren.

Disney Animator and Story Man Mel Shaw Dies at 97

Mel Shaw

Mel Shaw

Visual devel­op­ment artist, ani­ma­tor and story man Melvin “Mel” Shaw, named a Dis­ney Leg­end in 2004, has died at 97, lay­out artist Mike Per­aza announced.

Shaw has been called one of Disney’s “elder states­men” of ani­ma­tion. Walt Dis­ney, who per­son­ally recruited him to join his team, observed another side.

Dur­ing his early polo play­ing days, Shaw recalled first meet­ing Dis­ney at the field, who announced, “You ride like a wild Indian!” And thus, the door opened for Shaw to infuse his pas­sion into Dis­ney animation.

Born Melvin Schwartz­man in Brook­lyn on Decem­ber 19, 1914, he dis­cov­ered his artis­tic bent at age 10, when selected as one of only 30 chil­dren from New York state to par­tic­i­pate in the Stu­dent Art League Soci­ety. Two years later, his soap sculp­ture of a Latino with a pack mule won sec­ond prize in a Proc­ter & Gam­ble soap carv­ing con­test, earn­ing the young artist national fame.

In 1928, his fam­ily moved to Los Ange­les, where Shaw attended high school and entered a schol­ar­ship class at Otis Art Insti­tute. But the teen had an itch to become a cow­boy and ran away from home to work on a Utah ranch.

After four months of back-breaking work, he returned home and took a job cre­at­ing title cards for silent movies at Pacific Titles, owned by Leon Schlesinger. With help from Schlesinger, two for­mer Dis­ney ani­ma­tors, Hugh Har­man and Rudy Ising, had made a deal with Warner Bros., and soon, Shaw joined Harman-Ising Stu­dios as ani­ma­tor, char­ac­ter designer, story man and direc­tor. While there, he worked with Orson Welles sto­ry­board­ing a live-action/animated ver­sion of The Lit­tle Prince.

In 1937, Shaw arrived at Dis­ney, con­tribut­ing to Fan­ta­sia (1940), Bambi (1941) and The Wind in the Wil­lows, which later became a seg­ment in The Adven­tures of Ich­a­bod and Mr. Toad (1949).

His Dis­ney career was inter­rupted by the Sec­ond World War, when he served the United States Army Sig­nal Corps as a film­maker under Lord Louis Mount­bat­ten, help­ing pro­duce films, includ­ing a live action/animated doc­u­men­tary of the Burma Cam­paign. He also served as art edi­tor and car­toon­ist for the Stars & Stripes news­pa­per in Shanghai.

After the war, he ven­tured into busi­ness with for­mer MGM Stu­dios ani­ma­tor Bob Allen. As Allen-Shaw Pro­duc­tions, he designed and cre­ated the orig­i­nal Howdy Doody mar­i­onette pup­pet for NBC; illus­trated the first Bambi children’s book for Dis­ney; and designed children’s toys, archi­tec­ture and even mas­ter plans for cities, includ­ing Cen­tury City, California.

In 1974, Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios called Shaw to help in the out­go­ing tran­si­tion between retir­ing ani­ma­tors and the next gen­er­a­tion. He offered skill and knowl­edge to such Dis­ney motion pic­tures as The Res­cuers (1977), The Fox and the Hound (1981), The Great Mouse Detec­tive (1986), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994) and more.

Though uncred­ited, he was an ani­ma­tor in the the­atri­cal car­toon shorts We’re in the Money (1933), Toy­land Broad­cast and Tale of the Vienna Woods (both 1934), To Spring (1936) and Merba­bies (1938).

He offered addi­tional story con­tri­bu­tions to The Black Caul­dron (1985) and pro­vided the car­toon story for the 1957 Dis­ney­land episode “Tricks of Our Trade.” Shaw appeared as him­self in the 2001 TV doc­u­men­tary Walt: The Man Behind the Myth.

Shaw recently com­pleted his auto­bi­og­ra­phy Ani­ma­tor on Horse­back at his home in Acampo, Cal­i­for­nia. It has not yet been released.

In June, he lived with his son and daughter-in-law in Wood­land Hills, California.

Mel Shaw mar­ried Flo­rence, the widow of Dis­ney ani­ma­tor John Lounsbery.

Princess Mononoke Actress Mitsuko Mori Dead at 92

Mitsuko Mori

Mit­suko Mori

Actress Mit­suko Mori, the voice of Hii-sama in the orig­i­nal Japan­ese ver­sion of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 film Princess Mononoke, died Sat­ur­day at a Tokyo hos­pi­tal. She was 92.

She died due to heart fail­ure caused by pneumonia.

Mori was nom­i­nated for the Award of the Japan­ese Acad­emy for Best Actress in con­nec­tion with her lead­ing role as Yuriko Hiro­sawa (The Authoress) in 2000’s Kawa no nagare no you ni. She received the Order of Cul­ture and the People’s Honor Award.

Mori por­trayed the main char­ac­ter in Horoki over 2,000 times. In addi­iton, she played the main role in the pop­u­lar TV drama Jikan desu yo (It’s time).

She was born Mitsu Murakami in Kyoto on May 9, 1923.

Lucille Bliss, 96, Was Cartoon Voice of Crusader Rabbit, Smurfette

Lucille Bliss

Lucille Bliss

Voice actress Lucille Bliss, who por­trayed the title char­ac­ter of the first made-for-TV car­toon series, Cru­sader Rab­bit (1949–51), died Thurs­day night, ani­ma­tor Dave Nimitz said. She was 96.

She had been liv­ing in Mesa Verde Res­i­den­tial Care Cen­ter in Costa Mesa, California.

Bliss voiced Smur­fette, the only female Smurf, from 1981 to 1989 in the Hanna-Barbera series Smurfs, as well as the 1987 TV spe­cial ‘Tis the Sea­son to Be Smurfy. Other Smur­fette appear­ances were in the TV-movies The Smurfs Christ­mas Spe­cial and The Smurfs Spring­time Spe­cial (both 1982), My Smurfy Valen­tine (1983), and The Smurfic Games (1984).

For Dis­ney, she por­trayed step­sis­ter Anas­ta­sia in Cin­derella (1950), Sun­flower and Turnip in Alice in Won­der­land (1951), and the Kanine Krunchie Com­mer­cial Singer in 101 Dal­ma­tians (1961). Other roles in car­toon films were Mrs. Fitzgib­bons in Don Bluth Pro­duc­tions’ The Secret of NIMH (1982) and the Pigeon Lady in Blue Sky’s Robots (2005).

Also at Dis­ney, she nar­rated “Story of Thumper,” “Story of the White Rab­bit” and “Story of Grandpa Bunny,” three sto­ries on the Dis­ney album Peter Cot­ton­tail and Other Funny Bun­nies.

Her other reg­u­lar TV series roles included Snoopy in H-B’s The Space Kidettes (1966), Queen Slugga in Ewoks (1986–87), and Ms. Bit­ters in Invader ZIM (2001).

Over the 1950s, Bliss was heard in sev­eral the­atri­cal Warner Bros. and MGM the­atri­cal car­toon shorts. Though uncred­ited, she was Suzanne in Friz Freleng’s A Kid­dies Kitty (1955), the Lit­tle Girl and Mama in A Wag­gily Tale (1958), Jerry’s lit­tle mouse friend Tuffy in 1958’s MGM car­toon Robin Hood­winked, and the Lep­rechaun in another 1958 MGM release, Droopy Lep­rechaun.

On TV, she guested as Hugo and Scout in the 1961 The Flint­stones episode “The Good Scout,” The Librar­ian in the 2005 Duck Dodgers episode “All in the Crime Fam­ily,” and Yagoda (aka Yugoda) in the 2005 Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der episodes “The Water­bend­ing Mas­ter” and “The Siege of the North Pt. 1.”

Bliss por­trayed Bamm Bamm Rub­ble in the 1977 TV-movie A Flint­stone Christ­mas and Dusty in the 1978 TV-movie The Flint­stones Lit­tle Big League. Other TV-movie and TV spe­cial roles included Miss Witch in The Great Bear Scare (1983); and Lick­ety Page and other char­ac­ters in the ABC Week­end Spe­cials Cap’n O.G. Readmore’s Jack and the Beanstalk (1985), Cap’n O.G. Read­more Meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Cap’n O.G. Readmore’s Puss in Boots and Cap’n O.G. Read­more Meets Red Rid­ing Hood (both 1988).

She was in the voice casts of the two-part 1972 spe­cial Oliver and the Art­ful Dodger, released as an install­ment of The ABC Sat­ur­day Super­star Movie; the 1975 TV-movie The Tiny Tree. Bliss was also in the 1979 TV-movie Casper the Friendly Ghost: He Ain’t Scary, He’s Our Brother (aka Casper Saves Hal­loween).

Bliss por­trayed Quinby in the 2007 the­atri­cal car­toon short Up-In-Down Town, and also was heard in the the­atri­cal shorts Hug Me (1981) and Betty Boop’s Hol­ly­wood Mys­tery (1989)

In the 2005 video short Blue Har­vest Days (reti­tled Who Saves the Vil­lage?), she voiced Bear Brat.

Born in New York City on March 31, 1916, Bliss moved to San Fran­cisco in the 1950s. There, she hosted ABC affil­i­ate KRON-TV’s The Happy Birth­day To You Show, a live local kids’ pro­gram, from 1950 to 1957.

For her work in Cin­derella, Bliss received the For­mer Child Star Life­time Achieve­ment Award at the 1999 Young Artist Awards. At the Annie Awards, she won the Win­sor McCay award for life­time achieve­ment in 2000.

TV Series Director Margaret Nichols Dies at 82

Ani­ma­tor and direc­tor Mar­garet Nichols, an exec­u­tive board mem­ber of The Ani­ma­tion Guild from 1980 to 1985, died Novem­ber 5. She was 82.

From 1955 until 1993, she worked for Warner Bros., Dis­ney, UPA, Fleis­cher, Snow­ball, Patin, TV Spots, Cre­ston, Eagle, Hanna-Barbera, Mar­vel, Uni­ver­sal and Graz Entertainment.

She was also known as Mar­garet Flo­res Nichols and Mar­garet Grewell.

Nichols directed the TV series Trans­form­ers (1985–86); The Glo Friends, Potato Head Kids, InHu­manoids and Moon Dream­ers (all 1986); My Lit­tle Pony ‘n Friends (1986–87); and Frag­gle Rock (1987).

She served as an ani­ma­tion direc­tor for the series Mup­pet Babies (1985–88), Defend­ers of the Earth (1986), Space­cats and Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars! (both 1991), Tom & Jerry Kids Show and The Addams Fam­ily (both 1992), The Pirates of Dark Water (1992–93), and Droopy: Mas­ter Detec­tive (1993). In addi­tion, she was ani­ma­tion direc­tor of the TV-movies Solar­man (1986), Pryde of the X-Men (1989) and I Yabba-Dabba Do! (1993), along with the 1986 the­atri­cal films The Trans­form­ers: The Movie and My Lit­tle Pony: The Movie and the 1987 video G.I. Joe: The Movie.

As an ani­ma­tor, Nichols worked on the series The Peb­bles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971); The Flint­stone Com­edy Hour (1972); Jean­nie and Speed Buggy (both 1973); These Are the Days and Par­tridge Fam­ily 2200 AD (both 1974); The New Tom & Jerry Show (1975); The Mumbly Car­toon Show and The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour (both 1976); The All-New Super Friends Hour and C B Bears (both 1977); Scooby’s All Star Laff-A-Lympics (1977–78); Jana of the Jun­gle, Chal­lenge of the Super­Friends and Dyno­mutt Dog Won­der (all 1978); Godzilla (1978–79); The World’s Great­est Super­Friends, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo and Casper and the Angels (all 1979;) Trol­lkins and The Kwicky Koala Show (both 1981); Smurfs (1981–84); Joke­book, Shirt Tales and Pac-Man (all 1982); and The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and The Char­lie Brown and Snoopy Show (both 1983).

Also, she was an ani­ma­tor on the 1974 ABC After­school Spe­cial Cyrano, along with the ABC Week­end Spe­cials The Puppy Saves the Cir­cus (1981) and Miss Switch to the Res­cue and Bun­nic­ula, the Vam­pire Rab­bit (both 1982). She ani­mated the TV shorts and TV-movies Clerow Wilson’s Great Escape (1974), The White Seal (1975), A Flint­stone Christ­mas (1977), Christ­mas Comes to PacLand (1982), Is This Good­bye, Char­lie Brown? (1983) and It’s Flash­bea­gle, Char­lie Brown (1984), in addi­tion to the 1987 the­atri­cal movie Rock Odyssey.

A key assis­tant ani­ma­tor on the 1973 movie Charlotte’s Web, Nichols was an assis­tant ani­ma­tor on Who Framed Roger Rab­bit and Disney’s Oliver & Com­pany (both 1988). She was a char­ac­ter ani­ma­tor on the 1982 the­atri­cal film Heidi’s Song and a guest ani­ma­tor on Chuck Jones’ 1975 TV-movie Yan­kee Doo­dle Cricket.

Nichols was a sequence direc­tor on the TV series Robotix (1985), G.I. Joe (1985–86), Jem (1985–88), Trans­form­ers (1986–87) and The Lit­tle Wiz­ards (1987), as well as the 1985 video Big­foot and the Mus­cle Machines and TV-movie The GLO Friends Save Christmas.

Her first screen credit was as a lay­out artist for the 1970 TV-movie Uncle Sam Magoo. Nichols was a back­ground and lay­out artist for the 1971 musi­cal film Shin­bone Alley.

At Dis­ney, Nichols was a key clean-up artist for the movie The Black Caul­dron (1985), and a char­ac­ter key for The Lit­tle Mer­maid (1989) and The Res­cuers Down Under (1990). She was a tim­ing direc­tor and sheet timer for X-Men (1992–94), and a tim­ing direc­tor for the 1994 TV series The Tick.

Woodbury Animation Founder, Chair Jack Bosson Dies

Jack Bosson

Jack Bosson

Jack Bosson, chair of Wood­bury University’s ani­ma­tion depart­ment for three years, has died, car­toon his­to­rian Jerry Beck announced Mon­day evening.

His age was not imme­di­ately available.

Bosson served as as a train­ing con­sul­tant to Dis­ney in 1999 and taught at var­i­ous insti­tu­tions until he was hired to set up an ani­ma­tion depart­ment at Wood­bury. He retired two years ago as pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus after eight years at the university.

He did back­ground paint­ing briefly at Hanna-Barbera and was hired as a trainer in fea­ture ani­ma­tion at Dis­ney in 1995.

Bosson was a prac­tic­ing and exhibit­ing fine artist and free­lance illus­tra­tor for over 35 years. He taught draw­ing and paint­ing at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, Col­lege of New Rochelle, Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Otis Col­lege of Art and Design, Gno­mon School of Visual Effects and Wood­bury, among other institutions.

Bosson received his Diploma of Design from The Cooper Union. He stud­ied paint­ing and draw­ing at the l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris on a Ful­bright Fel­low­ship, and received his Mas­ter of Fine Arts Degree from Cor­nell in 1966.