Olivier Jean-Marie, whose work marked the childhoods of a generation in France and beyond, died on May 13 following a long illness. He was 60.
In his twenty-five years at Paris-based studio Xilam, Jean-Marie directed, created, and wrote a number of hugely popular films and series. He directed over 300 episodes of the hit show Oggy and the Cockroaches and created the series Zig & Sharko, which, like Oggy, uses no dialogue. In a tribute, Xilam called him “the main founder of the slapstick spirit that defines” the studio.
Jean-Marie started out doing backgrounds for series like the French-Japanese co-production Clémentine, also picking up storyboarding credits on shows like Spiff and Hercules. He continued to storyboard on Xilam productions later in his career, while mentoring younger storyboard artists.