More on Duane Crowther

Oscar Grillo writes this nice memory of how he was inspired by Duane Crowther’s work:

Duane was not only a great animator. He was a great guy… he was my mentor. Aged sixteen I started to work in animation in Buenos Aires. I played a practical joke (I removed the boss’s chair when he was about to sit and he fell on his ass…I was an idiot) and I was fired. I knew I blew my chances to work in animation for the rest of my life. I begged some people in another studio to let me stay with them for no pay. They had a showreel from an American studio named Robert Lawrence Animation. It was terrific…I looked at it frame by frame in the moviola and checked out some of their tricks and techniques. Suddenly I felt that I understood the mysteries of animation and design and I tried to put it into practice. The boss I had played the stupid trick on came to visit the studio and saw the work I was doing then and rehired me on the spot and I started to earn my living as an animator.

Many years later I visited Duck Soup in Santa Monica and through Lee Mishkin I met Duane. He invited me to a great lunch at Musso & Frank and asked me what got me started. I mentioned the Robert Lawrence showreel and he said “What commercials did they have on it?” I said “This and that,” and he said “I made them” so I discovered who was my inspiration and made me do it. God bless Duane, I miss his censoriousness and pessimistic views, but compared with what passes for optimism today he was a genuine and true optimist!