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Michael Sporn, Animator, 1946 – 2014

by on January 23, 2014

Independent animator Michael Barrier reports on the passing of fellow animator Michael Sporn on January 19, 2014, at the age of 67 due to pancreatic cancer. Sporn’s career in animation was heralded by a powerful interest in the medium from a very young age, thanks to several then-new how-to books on animation published in the 1950’s and the TV shows Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and Walter Lantz’s The Woody Woodpecker Show. His career as a professional animator began in 1972 when he worked with John and Faith Hubley, working on the short film “Cockaboody” and the “Adventures of Letterman” sequences for PBS’s The Electric Company. He worked with legendary animator Richard Williams on 1977’s Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his adaptation of William Steig’s book Doctor DeSoto (which was one of 15 films Sporn produced and directed for distributor Weston Woods, including “Abel’s Island,” “The Amazing Bone,” and “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers”). He also adapted several children’s book classics for HBO, including “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,” “Lyle Lyle Crocodile,” “Goodnight Moon and Other Stories,” and “Happy to Be Nappy and Other Tales.”

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