In memoriam 2019 In memoriam 2019

If 2019 was a bumper year for animation production, it was also a singularly sad period for the industry. We can’t remember another year in which animation lost so many important and beloved people — or witnessed anything as atrocious as the arson attack at Kyoto Animation, which claimed 36 lives.

At Cartoon Brew, we profiled some of the biggest names to have left us throughout the year. You can read our obituaries of animation icon Richard Williams (died aged 86), experimental multimedia artist Rosto (50), cult clay animator Bruce Bickford (72), influential indie filmmaker Suzan Pitt (75), prolific artist and writer Chris Reccardi (54), and former Disney CEO Ron Miller (85).

Below is a list of other figures from across the art form who died in 2019:

  • Bradley Achorn, technical director at Disney and Dreamworks.
  • Gordon Bressack (68), writer for shows such as Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, and Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain.
  • Jessica “Jess, Jebby, JB” Lauren Brown (34), finaler and texture artist at Nickelodeon Animation Studios.
  • Rudolf “Rudy” Cataldi (91), animator, producer, and timing director, who started out as an in-betweener at Disney aged 16. He worked on feature films such as Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, before founding his own studio, Animation Associates; his career later took him Hanna-Barbera, Saban, Dic, Marvel, Graz Entertainment, and Film Roman.
  • Arnab Chaudhari, Indian animation director of the 2012 Indian feature Arjun: The Warrior Prince.
  • Jack de Mello (102), composer for various Hanna-Barbera animated series, including The Flintstones and The Jetsons.
  • Larry DiTillo (71), writer for Filmation on Fat Albert and He-Man, creator of the She-Ra: Princess of Power bible.
  • Ernesto Elicanal, layout artist at Film Roman.
  • Evelyn Fletcher, xerox and ink & paint departments of Disney, Filmfair, Hanna-Barbera, and other studios.
  • Craig Gardner, background artist at Warner Bros., New World, Marvel, and Hanna-Barbera.
  • Joe Kwong, worked at Disney Feature Animation as an animator/modeler from 1996 until 2010, and Blue Sky Studios as a rigging artist.
  • Diana LeBost, assistant animator and children’s book author who worked at Dreamworks, Film Roman, Ken Duncan Studios, and Turner Feature Animation.
  • Art Lozzi (90), background artist who worked on numerous Hanna-Barbera shows and movies including Quick Draw McGraw, The Huckleberry Hound Show, Snagglepuss, Top Cat, The Jetsons, and The Flintstones.
  • J. Mike Mendel (54), animation producer who worked on The Simpsons and Rick and Morty.
  • Lee Mendelson (86), animation producer, most notably of Peanuts animated specials and features.
  • Ram Mohan (88), Indian animator, title designer, and educator who was known as the father of Indian animation; among the best-known films he worked on were You Said It, Fire Games, This Our India, and Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama.
  • Bryon Moore (63), assistant animator and layout artist on series including Beavis and Butt-Head and Doug.
  • Don Morgan (80), layout artist and designer at Snowball, UPA, Chuck Jones Productions, Ralph Bakshi, Hanna-Barbera, and Dreamworks SKG.
  • Kaj Pindal (91), Danish-born Canadian cartoonist, animator, and educator who worked at the National Film Board of Canada, where his credits as director include Peep and the Big Wide World and What on Earth!. Animator of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.
  • Milton Quon (105), artist who worked on Fantasia and Dumbo.
  • Carl “C” Raggio IV (40), character designer and story artist at Cartoon Network, PBS, Disney Television Animation, and Nickelodeon; he also storyboarded for animated features at Illumination Entertainment and Sony Pictures.
  • Domingo Rivera, layout artist, character designer, and key assistant animator for Turner Feature, Baer Animation, Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks, and Film Roman.
  • Jason So (Jay Won So), storyboard artist, board revisionist, animator, and layout artist at Baer Animation, Warner Bros., Disney, Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, and Marvel.
  • Ted Stearn (57), creator of the alternative comic Fuzz & Pluck, and worked in different roles, including art director and storyboard artist, on many animated series, including Rick and Morty, Daria, Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill, Futurama, and The Simpsons Movie.
  • Danny Gordon Taylor (69), animation supervisor and vfx professional who worked at ILM, Weta, and Digital Domain; Credits include Real Steel, The Mask, Terminator 3, The Hobbit, The Jungle Book, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
  • Russi Taylor (75), voice actress best known for voicing Minnie Mouse; her other credits include The Flintstone Comedy Show, The Smurfs, My Little Pony, Muppet Babies, Ducktales, and The Simpsons.
  • Richard Trueblood (78), animator, director, and timing director at Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, Disney TV Animation, Universal, Marvel, Nickelodeon, and other studios.
  • Sherri Vandoli, worked in ink & paint departments at Disney and Ruby-Spears, and Filmation as a cel painter, xerox processor, and supervisor.
  • Alan Zaslove (91), animator, producer, and director of animated series who worked at UPA, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, and Disney. His credits include Gerald McBoing-Boing, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Smurfs, The Alvin Show, The Return of Jafar, and Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World. Supervising director and producer on Ducktales, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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