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R.I.P. “Heidi’s Song”, “9 Lives of Fritz The Cat” Animation Director Robert Taylor

R.I.P. "Heidi's Song", "9 Lives of Fritz The Cat" Animation Director Robert Taylor

We’ve just learned animator and director Robert Taylor passed away last Thursday, December 11th, from complications due to COPD. He was 70 years old. Taylor is perhaps best known for directing The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974) – a sequel to the first X-rated animated feature Fritz the Cat – as well as Hanna Barbera’s Heidi’s Song (1982)

Taylor began his career in 1966 co-directing Mighty Heroes and Sad Cat with Ralph Bakshi at Terrytoons. Taylor had worked with Ralph Bakshi in various capacities (layout, design, animation) on a number of his animated features, including Heavy Traffic, Hey Good Lookin’ and Wizards. He went on to work in later years as an animator, story man, layout artist, producer, screenwriter and director on various animated TV shows for Disney (Bonkers, Goof Troop), Hanna Barbera (Scooby Doo, Superfriends) and Klasky Csupo (Wild Thornberrys, Rugrats). 

One of his many projects was the unreleased Hanna Barbera feature Rock Odyessy (1987). It was an adult skewing history of pop music, narrated by a jukebox (Scatman Crothers). Though Hanna Barbera get co-director credit, it’s known that Taylor actually headed the project. 

His daughter has released this information: “His memorial service is open to any and all that knew him or followed him in his life. His service is Saturday, December 20th at the chapel at Oakwood Cemetery in Chatsworth, CA. It is a beautiful location and he shall be buried there immediately following the service. The ceremony starts at 10:00 am. I know my father would have loved his friends and colleagues to attend this special event and celebrate his life. If you cannot attend, I thank you for knowing him and being with him there in spirit.”

(Thanks, Bronwen Barry)

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