Late last year, we lost two noted animation talents from the United Kingdom: Harold Whitaker (above, left) and Richard Taylor.
Early in his career, Harold Whitaker worked for the pioneering British cartoon director Anson Dyer; he was amongst the staff members of Dyer’s company to be hired by Halas & Batchelor, which was where he made his name. He contributed to many of the studio’s best-known productions: Animal Farm, Automania 2000, Foo-Foo, DoDo the Kid from Outer Space, Tales from Hoffnung (one short in this series, The Hoffnung Palm Court Orchestra, earned Whitaker a BAFTA nomination), parts of Heavy Metal (Grimaldi and So Beautiful and So Dangerous) and more. His other work includes providing key animation for TVC’s When the Wind Blows, and the 1981 book Timing for Animation.
Amongst Whitaker’s admirers in the animation community is Michael Sporn, who has blogged about him a number of times. In 2010 Whitaker was the subject of a BBC Gloucestershire article, which emphasised the local interest aspect of his career—one of Halas & Batchelor’s studios was based in the Gloucestershire town of Stroud, which was were Whitaker still resided after retirement. He passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 93 from kidney failure.