December 15, 2021
Famed Animation Historian and Prolific Author Giannalberto Bendazzi has Passed Away!
The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of famed animation historian and prolific author Giannalberto Bendazzi. He died on December 13, 2021, he was 75.
Bendazzi was known worldwide as one of the most esteemed animation historians as well as being an author of numerous books and articles. His most well-known writings are the books Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation
and the three-volume encyclopedic Animation – A World History
Bendazzi was born in Ravenna Italy on 17 July 1946. After completing his basic education studies, he studied law at the University of Milan. Upon graduating at the age of 21 instead of practicing law he chose journalism and became the youngest Italian daily film critic.
He soon became dissatisfied with journalism and turned to writing about the love and joy had for animation and live action films. In the mid 1980's he decided to concentrate completely on the study of animation, and authored over 30 books in various areas of animation as well as numerous essays. This led him to becoming the foremost authority on animation in non-western countries such as Latin and South America and the Caribbean.
Giannalberto eventually taught at the Università degli Studi di Milano from 2002 to 2009, then from January 2013 to January 2015, he was a visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Additionally, since 2001 he had been an adjunct professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.
He was a founding member of the Society for Animation Studies, an international organization dedicated to the study of animation history and theory that began in 1987.
Thank you for giving us so much of your knowledge and wisdom.
November 22, 2021
Renowned Veteran Voice Actor and Former ASIFA President Will Ryan has Passed Away!
The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of renowned voice actor and former ASIFA President Will Ryan. He died on November 19, 2021 after a brief battle with cancer; he was 72.
During a nearly four-decade renaissance career, Ryan earned well over 100 screen credits, while receiving nominations for a Prime Time Emmy and a Writers Guild award. In 2000, Ryan developed and created the first online animated series, Elmo Aardvark: Outer Space Detective
He began his voice-acting career in the early 1980s, with roles as Rabbit and Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh series Welcome to Pooh Corner
. In 1987 he voiced the role of Petrie in Universal's animated classic The Land Before Time
. Other notable voice roles included Willie the Giant in many Disney productions over the years, the Duck Brothers in Courage the Cowardly Dog
, and Barnaby the Dog in Dumbo's Circus
Ryan was also an accomplished musician and songwriter, who contributed songs to numerous animated productions.
He is survived by his wife, Niparko Ryan, and three siblings – Patty Ryan, Marsha Ryan Russo, and George Ryan.
November 15, 2021
Another Generous Stop Motion Artifacts Donation By Leigh Rayner From His Father, Joe Rayner's, Extensive Celebrated Career!
The Animation Hall of Fame is once again honored and excited to announce the donation of the great stop motion animation and visual effects Director, Producer, Studio Founder/Owner, Technician, and Inventor Joe Rayner by his son Leigh Rayner.
This donation includes from the legendary Cascade Pictures Of California, C.P.C. & Associates, and Coast Effects television commercial animation and visual effects production studios 61 16mm commercial and demo reel masters and 1 16mm sub master reel with the only known existing stop motion and visual effects tests from the 1962 fantasy film Jack the Giant Killer.
Animation Hall of Fame CEO, Chairman, and Co-founder Hal Miles created and animated a few of these pieces both when he was hired at his first Hollywood studio position at Cascade Pictures Of California and then over the following decades at C.P.C. & Associates and Coast Effects. Hal Miles; "My fondest memories of working in the entertainment industry has and will always be my work at Cascade Pictures Of California, C.P.C. & Associates, Coast Effects, and Trio Effects and especially with Joe. We actually were so much alike in that we both loved our work and always had a passion for it."
Everyone at the Animation Hall Of Fame would like to thank Leigh Rayner once again for his extremely generous donation!
The Animation Hall of Fame is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. This major donation of Art and Artifacts enhances the Animation Hall of Fame existing worldwide collection and extends its historical archives even further; helping to fulfill our goal of preservation & education on the history and continuing significance of animation throughout the world and the people who create and inspire it.
October 28, 2021
International Animation Day!
Don't forget that today is International Animation Day! International Animation Day (IAD) was an international observance proclaimed in 2002 by the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA) as the main global event to celebrate the art of animation. This day commemorates the first public performance of Charles-Émile Reynaud's Théâtre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris, 1892.
October 11, 2021
Disney Animation Legend and Supercentenarian Ruthie Tompson has Passed Away!
The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of Disney animation legend and supercentenarian Ruthie Tompson. She died on October 10, 2021, at the astounding age of 111.
Ruth Irene Tompson was born on July 22, 1910, in Portland, Maine, and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She then moved with her family to Oakland, California in November 1918 at age eight. The family relocated to Los Angeles and their house was in the same block as the house of Robert Disney, uncle of Walt and Roy Disney. Additionally, this is where Walt and Roy Disney lived when they first came to Los Angeles. Tompson first met the Disney’s when she visited her neighbor Robert's new baby.
The location of The Walt Disney Company, then known as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, was also not far from her home, which she passed by it on her way to and from grammar school. Each day she would stop and look through the windows and watch them work. On one such day she was invited into the office. From that point on she visited the office often and even ended up appearing in the Alice Comedies
At the age of 18, Tompson started working at Dubrock's Riding Academy, where Walt and Roy often played polo. Walt remembered Tompson from when she was young and offered her a job as an inker in the ink department of the studio. After training as an inker, Tompson was transferred to the Paint Department, where she helped in inking and painting cells for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
. After working on several other Disney films, Tompson was promoted to final checker position where she reviewed animation cels before they were photographed onto film. Tompson continued working for Disney. She was promoted to animation checker during WWII, where she worked on training and education films- for the U.S Armed Forces- starring Disney characters such as Mickey, Donald Duck and Goofy. By 1948, Tompson was working in the camera department, developing camera moves and mechanics to shoot animation. She became one of the first three women admitted into the International Photographers Union, Local 659 of the IATSE. Tompson continued to work through the studio ranks, eventually becoming the supervisor of the screen planning department.
Tompson retired in 1975 after working for The Walt Disney Company for almost 40 years. In retirement, she worked for an in-house television channel at the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) Country House where she lived.
Tompson was the oldest member of Women in Animation. In 2000, Tompson was honored by the Disney Legends program and received the Disney Legends Award for her work at the Walt Disney Studios. In 2017, Tompson was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for her contributions to the animation industry. In July 2020, Tompson became a supercentenarian and celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg wished her a happy birthday.
Ruthie Tompson peacefully died in her sleep at her home at the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) Country House in Woodland Hills.
Thank you for kindly giving and sharing with us your amazing talent, knowledge, and wisdom for over a century and throughout the countless decades.
Back to top
September 24, 2021
International animation film/television producer and studio owner David H. DePatie has Passed Away!
The Animation Hall Of Fame family is sad to acknowledge the passing of international animation film/television producer and studio owner David H. DePatie. He died on September 23, 2021 of natural causes; he was 91.
DePatie was born on December 24, 1929 in Los Angeles at The Good Samaritan Hospital. His father, Edmond L. DePatie, was the head of the counter department at Warner Bros, and he would spend his entire career at Warner. He later became executive vice president and general manager of the studio, reporting only to Jack Warner. Because of this, David, in his own words, became a "Warner Brat".
While growing up DePatie would visit his father at Warner Bros whenever he could. This allowed him to not only see the marvels of movie making, but also learn the day to day creative environment and business operations of the studio, This eventually included what would become Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc., which was located at the Warner Bros. Sunset Boulevard lot at the corner of Van Ness and Fernwood.
After working his way up through the production ranks like his father DePatie, he eventually became in 1960 a production executive and took over the Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc. division as its final production executive. While he held his production position at Warner Bros., DePatie originally received no on-screen credit, similar to his two predecessors. In 1962, with the decline in movie going, DePatie was informed that the cartoon studio was going to be shut down. The final thing he produced for the studio was a 1963 pilot named Philbert
, which was directed by Friz Freleng his future business partner. Also, DePatie began to receive on-screen credit with new producer and director Friz Freleng. Unfortunately Philbert
was never picked up, and was the last cartoon produced by the company. Shortly afterwards the Warner Bros. Cartoons Inc division closed down in 1963.
Shortly after Warner Bros Cartoons Inc division closed, DePatie and Freleng started their own animation studio and production company DePatie–Freleng Enterprises, also known as DePatie–Freleng Entertainment and DFE Films. They continued to produce from time to time animation shorts that included character appearances that were limited to Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat, Speedy Gonzales, and Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, with one time appearances of Granny, Porky Pig, The Goofy Gophers, and Witch Hazel.
Their groundbreaking success came in 1963 when they created the now iconic Pink Panther character for the animated opening segments of director Blake Edwards's movie Pink Panther
. In this movie and the subsequent sequels that followed, a Pink Panther appeared in the opening credits as the villain. Music was scored by Henry Mancini.
After the great response from the movie going public based on the Pink Panther
movie segments, DePatie–Freleng would produce numerous animated shorts starring the character. When these shorts aired on television, they were paired with backup segments. Music was composed by William Lava, Walter Greene, Doug Goodwin and David DePatie's son Steve DePatie.
Also, due to the success of the Pink Panther shorts, or in Art Leonardi's words the "Pink Power", DePatie–Freleng made title sequences for various TV shows, including I Dream of Jeannie
and various commercials. Additionally, DePatie–Freleng produced The Cat in the Hat
series of films. Additionally, they also produced the original light saber animation effects for Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
In 1981 the DePatie–Freleng partnership was dissolved and the company and its assets were acquired and rebranded by Marvel Productions. DePatie and some of his production staff stayed on and worked for Marvel Productions. He was one of the executive producers for the company. He left the company in 1984, and then briefly worked for Hanna-Barbera, producing Pink Panther and Sons
, before finally retiring in 1986.
DePatie died of natural causes in Gig Harbor, Washington. In addition to his son David Jr., Mr. DePatie is survived by his wife, Marcia (MacPherson) DePatie, and two other sons, Steve and Mike.
Back to top