Word has reached us that
longtime animation industry veteran director Frank Terry has passed away. According to his family:
passed away on Tuesday, February 11th in the morning. It was sudden in the sense that his diagnosis
of pulmonary fibrosis only came 2 1/2 months ago and he had a precipitous
decline from Friday, February 7 until he passed on Tuesday”
Frank Terry was the dean of the character animation program at the California Institute of the Arts for 11 years, 1996-2007.
During his tenure there, numerous great short films were created and many students emerged from his class
and entered the animation industry.
Terry received his BFA from the Chouinard Art Institute (1961-64) and
focused on advertising commercial production, animated documentaries, titles
and entertainment specials. His IMDB credits include The Beatles cartoons in
the sixties and ABC’s 1982 special
Stanley The Ugly Duckling.
Frank Terry first joined CalArts as a key member of the full-time animation faculty while simultaneously heading up his own production company, Terry X2. He spent many years producing
animated TV commercials for such clients as Keebler,
Raid, Allstate, Kellogg, Green Giant, Neiman Marcus, American
Express, Procter and Gamble,
Mattel, Pillsbury and Quaker Oats.
Terry had been a recipient of
Gold and Bronze Awards from International TV and Film Festival in New York, as
well as a recipient of the New York Art Directors Club Award for Best
Animator Mark Kausler writes:
“Frank Terry gave me my
first full time job in the business, back in 1970, at Spungbuggy Works. Frank
was partners in the business with Herb Stott. Did you know that Harold Mack,
who animated for George Moreno on the Bubble and Squeek series in England, was
Frank’s mentor and idol? I think that Frank worked and animated in Mack’s
native country, either Norway or Sweden, can’t remember now. I know that Frank
would want Harold Mack’s name mentioned, he really idolized Mack.
“Frank gave Marv Newland one
of his early jobs at Spungbuggy, too. That’s where they met and became friends.
Frank and I didn’t speak much after he fired me in 1972 for asking for a raise.
Frank made several independent shorts, one of which consisted of filmed flip
books. Frank was a master of the flip book, he took legal pads, cut them up
into small books and animated straight ahead in them with a fountain pen! He
helped me loosen up my animation when I was working for him, we used to do one
commercial a week at Spungbuggy.
“Frank directed a classic spot for Tootsie Roll pops that was done in a 1930s style featuring an inside view of a mouth and teeth biting a Tootsie pop, the tongue tries to protect the candy (Paul Winchell’s voice) saying, “No! You’ll bite it!”
He will be missed by
many animation professionals working today. Here is his sequence from the classic Marv Newland short, Anijam (1984):