Michael Jackson, RIP Michael Jackson, RIP
Cartoon CultureWard Kimball

Michael Jackson, RIP

I didn’t expect to be using this picture in such a sad context, but here is a photo of Michael Jackson visiting with Ward and Betty Kimball.

Michael and Ward

The opening to Rankin/Bass’s Jackson 5ive series. (Thanks, OM)

Will Vinton’s “Speed Demon” sequence from Moonwalker.

“Do the Bartman” co-written and produced by Michael Jackson. (Thanks, Carlos)

  • Rest in Peace, Mike.

  • He’s not dead, he’s hospitalized…..this is all part of his comeback!

  • OM

    …Nope. He’s dead, Jim.


    Jackson 5 Cartoon Show open:

  • FP

    Two celebs in one day, counting Fawcett! Worst thing is, I spent the afternoon sending out a bulk email saying that due to the “rule of three”, Garrison Keillor had better watch out! Then a bunch of people reminded me that Ed Mcmahon just died and called me a idiot.

  • Say what you will about him but you have to admit he was one of the most influential pop stars of the last few decades. How many other musicians can you think of that can have sold hundreds of millions of records in one’s life?

  • Like many, I was listening to and watching Michael Jackson throughout my formative years. The MOONWALKER movie was one of the first times I was struck by movie effects. Michael Jackson then became a part of our lives that some were afraid to admit to. I guess a different tune will be sung. I’ll miss you Michael Jackson.

  • The greatest impact Michael Jackson had on my life was that his Thriller music video scared the bleep out of me when I was a kid and gave me many nightmares. It was Jackson in Thriller and Jaws (the shark) that dominated my fears as a child.

    As an adult, I’ve loved his music. RIP, you talented werewolf, you.

  • Don’t forget that Michael Jackson is involved with a serious CG landmark.


    Black or White was the first successful example of morphing, which lead to many more advancements in the CG industry.

    RIP, Michael. You’ll be missed!

  • While at Hanna-Barbera, I worked on a presentation to CBS for a show called MICHAEL’S ANIMALS, starring Bubbles the chimp. Fortunately, it never sold. He also “guest-starred” in animated form in an anti-drug episode of THE FLINTSTONE KIDS; years later, while poking around H-B’s sound effects library, I found a tape that must have been from that episode. it was labled “Smoking Dope”.

    The late Dave Stevens was once hired by Michael Jackson to work on development art for one of his presentations. Dave always had nothing but praise for Michael as a collaborator.

  • Carlos

    Micheal Jackson helped produce “Do the Bartman”, but couldn’t appear in the credits due to a contract with Sony apparently? Anyway:

    And of course:

  • Ryan

    So there’s the Jacksons cartoon, Do The Bartman, his Simpsons voice-work, Moonwalker, the Flintstones Kids, that bit he did with Alvin Chipmunk, the music for Sonic 3…

    Not to mention the music.
    I’m absolutely gutted :(

  • Chris Sobieniak

    A few months back, a 13 year old in my house called him a “monster”. This is not the right time to think about it. He was a legend, and may he rest in peace. :-(

  • Bill

    Don’t forget the ‘Leave Me Alone’ video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5KAJw4y8wE


  • vveksuvarna

    directed by brad bird ? i thought so, when the A113 showed up.

  • Mark Sonntag

    I may not be the greatest fan, but there is no denying his talent and the sadness that the last years of his life were so embroiled in controversy and more sad that he had spent so little time on his music. He is free now.

    Great photo, thanks.

  • gaastra

    He was also in the simpsons and did a segment with alvin and the chipmunks in one of thier prime time specials. The odd thing is he was just talking about his big singing comeback tour a few weeks ago! R.I.P. king of pop. You will be missed.

  • A Great loss :(

  • Jason

    I’m floored. I hadn’t even thought of the guy for years, but this…hurts.

    I hope you’re in a better, kinder, wonderful place, Michael.

  • Fabulous photo..what a surprise to see him there with good ol’ Ward Kimball. Michael loved toys. I once stumbled into him doing some shopping at a collector’s store here in LA. You should have seen the massive pile of toys he picked out, including several dolls of himself!

  • Don’t forget Rod Stewert’s MoTown animation music clip with Hollywood icons including Jacko.

  • That simpsons short was directed by brad bird!
    but it never says anything about MJ

  • Arthur_F

    Of all the observations I’ve come across since MJ’s death, the fact that he co-wrote and produced “Do the Bartman” is actually interesting, and it harkens to a time when Simpsons and MJ were growing in cultural stature.

  • I just woke up and heard the terrible news…I feel so bad, it was really something that I won’t expect…Rest in Peace Michael!

  • A.J

    Oh, Geeze!!! I found myself singing along with the lyrics. I memorized them as a kid, and I can’t beleive they stuck. it’s been so long. Wow, I didn’t know Brad Bird directed this. SHould give him kudos if I meet him.

    RIP. Michael. Thanks for everything.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Oh, Geeze!!! I found myself singing along with the lyrics. I memorized them as a kid, and I can’t beleive they stuck. it’s been so long. Wow, I didn’t know Brad Bird directed this. SHould give him kudos if I meet him.

    He does an audio commentary for it on the season two DVD set if you ever check that out (Brad Bird I’m talking about), not sure if they mention MJ on it though!

  • listen Michael is awesome but how come you didn’t post anything when Millard Kaufman co creator of Mr. Magoo died. for shame

  • Christopher Cook

    I was never a big Jackson fan—if fact, I’ve had a fervid disdain for all pop music over the past 35 years–but I get his success. He gave fans their money’s worth.

    In his videos I sensed some inherent narcissism, with their theatrical feature production values and such. It would obviously influence even bigger narcissists like Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. Definitely not my cup of tea but there’s no denying Jackson had an impact. It’s a pity that the last fourth of his life will have a shadow of controversy over it.

    The Jackson Five cartoon show was one of only two Saturday morning cartoons that Action for Children’s Television cited as a quality show.

  • Iritscen

    The Bartman feels incredibly hokey now, but it’s pure classic Simpsons, and the animation was actually good! Klasky-Csupo must have really had the time and money to avoid the wonkier animation they often did for the TV show when they animated this, while still breathing that life into the characters that went away in the Rough Draft era.

    And R.I.P., MJ.

  • He directed two episodes of the Simpsons and was a consultant for the first eight seasons. Although I had never noticed him working the infamous A-113 in an episode. Nice catch, vveksuvarna.

  • ive been searching news sites and expecting to see his death as their top story, and i never would have expected him to be on this one. great to know he left his mark in the animation world as well as so many others. RIP

  • I’m incredibly sadened to hear the passing of MJ. He obviously had something going on physicaly or mentaly to have left us so early.

    As a pop icon, few could match him. But i’d be interested to hear now what his “real” story was. Especially that big question..

    Rest in peace Michael. You gave us alot.

  • I was never a huge fan of his music either, although like many others, I see why he will go down history.

    Anybody remembers Captain EO?



  • chris robinson

    Jackson opens up that age old issue of artist responsibility.

    Assuming that Jackson did inappropriate/illegal things with children, is it right to just ignore that and blindly push it aside because the man was a talented artist?

    I don’t have an answer (which is obvious to anyone who read my stuff on Ryan Larkin). I just know that I personally don’t care that Jackson is dead. My first reaction was that children and parents around the world are celebrating. Then again, I didn’t give a damn about his music, even though I’m old enough to have been there when Thriller came out. I just remember most of us mocking his music and appearance even then.

    Anyway, obviously others feel differently about Jackson and I don’t begrudge them their feelings.

    It’s more sad that Tippy Tom’s death has been overlooked in all this.

  • Onxy Baxter

    If the half of news of the past decade surrounding his involvement with children is true, then he was a terrible human being.

  • Remarkable childhood memories from when I first saw him becoming a werewolf in the videoclip which forever will last. Was a great pop icon and great dancer/singer.

    May he rest in peace.

  • Autumn

    I’m truly disgusted by the disrespectful comments I read all over the internet. Can’t have one day for a man who’s touched so many lives all over the world. Weirdness and allegations aside, we can’t deny the impact he’s made on the music industry, and how many people he’s inspired. He’s an icon, and will be missed.

  • I just got the news yesterday.

    It’s unfortunate news for us fans of ‘the king of pop’, even if he did things to a bunch of kids in the past. He’ll be best remembered to me for his famous “Thriller” album and his uncredited involvements with the “Do the Bartman” music video (which allot of people forgot he was a part of that.)

    I assume there will be a North American DVD release of “Moonwalker” coming out later to commemorate his death. (It’s already out in the international territories and That Guy with the Glasses used it as a widescreen video source for his review.)

  • brad Constantine

    Michael Jackson was animation’s friend, he loved to draw, and was always pushing technology forward the same way Spielberg and Lucas did. He also had a great sense of humor as seen in the raisin ads and the “leave me alone video”. There is a lot of animation out there based on his dancing. RIP MJ. you were a great inspiration…

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It’s funny that Moonwalker isn’t even out here yet (most people have been BitTorrenting the foreign copies as we speak). I feel the same way Autumn does about the matter, shame many would rather say “good riddance” when they discount some of the positive qualities he had left behind.

    Also of note, the animation on the “Bartman” video was sent to a Hungarian studio that time, rather than the usual Asian outlets, they almost didn’t get it to air the night it premiered all over America on Fox.

  • Holy…

    What is there else to say?

  • TsimoneTseTse

    Was at Disneyland during the opening of Captain EO – INSANE 72 hour party. Did Vinton do the stop motion for that too?

    My GF was working at WDW in ’89 and assisted a masked, fedora wearing MJ in after hours shopping – he bought 2 of every Peter Pan item in the Marketplace. One for him & one for Bubbles.

    MJ reportedly received a private, solo, pre-release viewing of Black Cauldron, & enthusiastically responded to the end with clapping whoops, hollers & yells.
    A week later hundreds of people, in different theaters throughout the world, were treated to the same viewing experience when they saw it opening day.

    Regardless, he was an intense animation/fantasy enthusiast, “Leave Me Alone” is one of my all time favorite animated videos.

    Now he CAN dance with the Elephant Man


  • Animator

    If you’ve ever had a completely frivolous legal action threatened against you, you’re not so quick to judge Michael Jackson. I’ve had the misfortune to run across an a grifter that knew how to abuse the legal system. I’m just saying, reserve judgement until all the facts are in.

  • Hmm… remembering that movie Moonwalker, it’s interesting to note that the whole theme of the movie is about portraying Michael as an outcast, always on the run and persecuted. Maybe this image that he had of himself is what paved the way to his sad demise.

    Rest in Peace.

  • It’s surprising how relevant it is to post about MJ on Cartoon Brew. But it totally is.

    His ties to animation include Jim Blashfield, Will Vinton, Rankin/Bass, Ward Kimball, John K, not to mention his bizarre appearance on The Simpsons.

    I kind of feel bad about posting the John K story immediately after his death, but in case you’re curious: http://exclaim.ca/articles/multiarticlesub.aspx?csid1=75&csid2=6&fid1=4476

  • Who do you think wrote Captain EO?? Brad Bird! He was in with MJ.
    I forgot about the Bartman video…Thank you for reminding me! I had so much fun working with Brad on that video. Half of the Simpsons staff, including the directors, had to jump on the video in the middle of series production. Almost all of it was animated at Klasky. And the Simpsons episode with MJ as a schizophrenic in an asylum was exciting too. I think most of the directors went to the voice recording at FOX.

    Sad to see a part of my childhood gone with Michael Jackson.

  • Pustoolio

    @ chris robinson

    “Assuming that Jackson did inappropriate/illegal things with children”

    Well, how about we all assume you do inappropriate/illegal things with children? Would that bother you? I guess some people just like to condemn without proof.

  • Do the Bartman still holds up. What an epic video and I’m not surprised Brad Bird and MJ were behind it.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I’d like to more of that train collection behind Michael and Ward.

  • Dock Miles

    “Do the Bartman” reminds me what very different — fresher and more vital — celebrities both MJ and Bart Simpson were at the time.

    Sometimes I wish Bart could do like Michael and … you know.

    But that’s why cartoon characters make the ideal actor-employees: immortal, unlikely to form unions, private life never becomes a problem, all misguided plastic surgery can be instantly corrected …

  • Mike Caracappa

    Has anyone here mentioned the episode of the Simpsons Michael Jackson guest starred in? The one where he played the obese mental patient. That was a classic.

    “You wouldn’t believe the celebrities that did cameos-Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson. Although they didn’t use their real names, but you knew it was them.” -Lisa Simpson

  • whitt

    Actually the first example of morphing was in the film Willow in 1988
    Evidently there was even morphing in The Golden Child (1986), but I cannot vouch for that one.

  • I guess it’s too early to link to a SNL TV Funhouse Michael Jackson cartoon?

  • droosan

    Jackson also voiced a character named ‘Space Michael’ in both SPACE CHANNEL 5 video games .. and I believe he also voiced an animated ‘Max Headroom-esque’ video waiter in the ‘Cafe 80’s’ sequence of BACK TO THE FUTURE II.

  • David Breneman

    Having grown up in the 70s, I remember when Micheal Jackson was black. “Off the Wall” was really good. As he descended into madness, his work became more technically proficient, but had less soul to it. I’d equate his stuff from the late 80s and early 90s to Lawrence Welk’s music in the late 50s and early 60s. You’ve got to admire the technical brilliance of a whole group of musicians performing as an single entity, but apart from the “toe-tapping” aspect, there’s little there but techincal wizardry.

  • james madison

    True visionary.

    Respect and Rest In Peace, MJ.