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Jaime Diaz (1937-2009)

Longtime animator and director Jaime Diaz passed away this past Saturday.

I met Jaime several times during 2005-6 when I was working at Nickelodeon on my Random Cartoon, Hornswiggle. Jaime was an amazing talent and generous with his memories of breaking into the animation scene during the 1960s. You’ll see his credit on some of the last Warner Bros. cartoons of the late 1960s. From there, he worked mainly on Saturday morning shows for Hanna Barbera and Filmation in a variety of roles, from storyboard to character designer. He became a director on Duckman and on later Frederator shows like ChalkZone and Fairly Odd Parents. I really enjoyed his designs from his Random short Dr. Froyd’s Funny Farm (Diaz, pictured below left with Froyd co-creator Bill Burnett).

Larry Huber has posted a wonderful heartfelt remembrance of Jaime on his website.

  • I am very saddened to hear of Jaime’s passing. I also met him at the studio when I was doing my own Random short “Flavio”, when I took over his office when I started. Apparently, Jaime considered it his room anyway regardless of whether he actually worked there any more and he would often come in and just sit down, use the phone and computer. I didn’t mind, he was a good guy. He had a lot of wonderful stories he used to tell and it was a joy to listen to them. A few times I shared my lunch with him. He was quite a gifted man and he showed me a lot of great Latino artists that I had never heard of and for that alone I am grateful.

    I did not know him long but he will definitely be missed. That alone has to say something about the man doesn’t it?

  • Very sad news.

  • Dave

    This is a shock to hear — Jaime was a terrific friend and a real inspiration to me.

    I first met Jaime in Cleveland, of all places, in 1977, when he came East to help us out at Rick Reinert Productions on a big order of interstitials from ABC for their Saturday morning line up.

    We worked together pretty closely over the next 15 years on about 8 or 9 half-hour TV specials. We had a running mock-argument over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, and always wound up laughing at our feigned seriousness.

    Jaime was always a delight, always concerned about quality and always eager to talk about great cartoonists. I can hear that accent in my head.

    Gee, I’m heartbroken.

    • Greg. D.

      I was there too, Dave. I remember Jaime, and I’m really glad I had a chance to encounter this great talent.

  • What talent, and what loss. Condolences and my prayers are with his family.

  • doug holverson

    Does that elephant have three or four ears?

  • Never was lucky enough to meet Jaime but worked with his studio for many years when I was at Disney, and I’m very saddened to hear this.

  • Oh no! My condolences to his family. These are sad news. Jaime was a kind man and an incredible artist. I had the pleasure of becoming his friend at the end of El Tigre at Nick and his office visits were always filled glorious stories from his incredible life. He always cheered me up! And he was a hell of a designer! An he never minced words whenever he didn’t like something I showed him. Such a honorable artist. I can only hope to one day be more like him.
    Adios Jaime. You will be missed.

  • Bob Foster

    Wow. Jaime!

    He represents all there is to love about people in the cartoon business. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like or how you speak – the great common denominator of a love of cartoons, a strong work ethic, and high standards of excellence is all that is required, and Jaime had that in abundance.

    When I worked with him at H-B in the early 70s, I was always amazed at how his stuff just gushed from the tip of his pencil and onto the paper like water.

    One thing I’ll always remember from those days was, toward the end of the Bossa Nova era, whenever Willie Ito saw Jaime he’d sing, “Jaime to the moon…”

    When I was managing editor at Disney Comics, Jaime’s studio in Argentina produced countless pages of great comic art that was always on model and rarely required any tweaking. Jaime always knew what was needed, got it done, and delivered it on time.

    And it always looked great.

    As Mike said above, “He was a good guy.”

  • So sorry to hear of Jaime’s passing away. My condolences to his wife and family. I heard his son passed away two years ago and I don’t think he ever got over that.
    Jaime was indeed a good man. One of the old guard! We used to have lunch at Sizzler on Highland when we both worked at Klasky-Csupo. He never really got over the way we did animation, sending the fun part overseas. He loved animating and was a great timer because of his experience. The get-it-done-fast way of working really broke his heart. He loved teaching others about the basics of animation, he taught me a few things as well. Although he was 15 years older than me he saw me as his equal-age-pal. He had quite some hardships in his life, losing his company after Hanah-Barbera moved their animation from Argentina to cheaper producing countries being one of them. But still, he loved the industry, he knew a lot of the legends, I loved listening his stories about Tex Avery and others.
    When working on the Rugrats Movie I sequence directed the fast paced monkey song sequence and asked him to time it. I never saw him enjoying his work so much, given the proper time to do it, and getting the results back from overseas exactly the way he envisaged it. I really understood where he was coming from.
    Well Jaimie, I wish you well, I know where you are now the stress is removed, trust your family is well and know that we still love you. You’re in my prayers. Maybe you should do a prayer for us as well, life on this side is kind of crazy isn’t it, getting crazier as time goes.
    See you my friend,

  • Gosh, Jaime! Where did the time go? One day we were all young men sitting at our drawing boards — and then, suddenly we’re old men waiting for the iris out.

    Thanks for all the good times, Jaime. Thanks for the fun, the gags and the laughs. They say this business can kill you — but at least we die with smiles on our faces.

  • Román Arámbula

    I am very sad about the news of the death of my friend JAIME… we had long conversations with lots of humor and we laughed together all the time…

    I´m gonna miss him…


  • I worked off Jaime’s Flinstone layouts and designs nearly 30 years ago for H&B. He was , to me probably one of the best layout artists I have ever had the pleasure to follow outside of Andy Knight. His drawings were perfect , immaculate and you wanted to steal them because they were so good. His line work was gorgeous and where few can make a rough line beautiful , he could. It’s hard to believe I never met him but I was not that fortunate.

  • Oh..No..I shocked deeply and my heart beat also stop one second,I couldn’t believe this news and today I wanna post about one of my Inspiration master and his dedication work in Animation… in my blog spot…but my heart broken…now, We are trained sometime before and me and Jaime also involve very deep in work of his short show reel of ‘horse and the witch'(that one was ready for our Animation studio’s Demo project )On those days we are very close and I am very poor in English and catch up this news by Dias and one day we finished the demo and relaxed with our office colleagues…Jaime asking some funny interesting questions me…and my answers all are have been like ‘yes’ ‘No’ and ‘can’ ‘can not’…So every one laughed at once and I became very shy…and happy about his huge humor sence, capture power,imitating,and the hard working personality everything liked by us and when we were working…he was doing his work continuously after finished our office working hours…,He did not bother about timing,expenses,air conditioning bla..bla..bla…,And the word bla,bla also famous by him…and now we are used often…,

    And his great thing is always thinking about Animation in every time,everywhere,everyplace…And because of he forgot about whatever he has on hand or anything with him and we see many times like these and we could not forget ever…,
    In his Animation training period we learn a lot of techniques and how to speed up our fast in animation drawings…and his dedication in his age in this art field I didn’t see anybody in my life…And Finally he gave one gift for me…with his written with his signature,On That day It will be unforgettable and sweet memorable day in my whole life…and often he said to me ‘you are a BMW car because you worked hard like that’…And that words only give a lot of energy to me whenever I feel lazy…and he called me Kartick(karthik is my name in letters)…So I changed my name that what he called me in that pronunciation….while I am writing this letter my heart is crying loudly…and my hearty praying will give a lot of piece to his soul and save his lovely family ever and ever…
    With lots of love,
    One of Your obedience Student,
    Anikartick Azhagarsamy,India