Richard Williams passed away at his home in Bristol, England, at age 86. He was born on March 19, 1933, in Toronto. In his early teens he traveled to Los Angeles and met the Disney animators. He moved to Europe to study fine art, but eventually moved to London, England, where he founded an animation studio – becoming famous both for the commercials and the film titles he created and the personal films that the proceeds of those commercial projects allowed him to make.
He raised the bar for animation everywhere, and many animators who became well known in their own right came through Richard Williams Animation. He won an BAFTA Award for his 1958 short, The Little Island. He won an Oscar in 1971 for A Christmas Carol and two Oscars for the 1988 film, Who framed Roger Rabbit. The story of his work on The Thief and the Cobbler is the stuff of legend… and several documentary films.
Drawing by Aaron Blaise