8th Jan 2016
At the beginning of this new year, the world of animation is mourning the loss of Giuseppe Laganà and Robert Balser.
Two great names in the animation world left us within a few days of each other:
- Giuseppe Laganà, renowned animator, illustrator and printer, born in Italy in 1944, passed away on Sunday 3rd January.
A prolific animator wih Bozzetto Film, he worked on some of the studio's most important feature films.
He also created films and commercials, Preghiera della notte (1972 with Giannalberto Bendazzi), L’Homme sauvage (Annecy 1975), Pixnocchio (Annecy 1983); TV series including Lupo Alberto, as well as posters, illustrations and comic books.
Alongside this, he taught the techniques of animation at the European Institute of Design in Milan, was on the Executive Board of ASIFA-Italy, and was part of Annecy's selection committee in 1985 and TV jury in 2005.
- Robert Balser, well-known animator, born in the USA in 1927, passed away on Tuesday 5th January.
An early achievement was the animated title sequence for Around the World in 80 Days and he also worked on different documentaries and information films in Hollywood. After his first film, The Good Air, he travelled before settling in Spain, where he made several advertising films with the Moro studio and directed his first TV series Mac and Mic. While in London, he was animation director on George Dunning's Yellow Submarine.
He then founded and was creative director of Pegbar Productions, where he made TV series for numerous countries. In 1980, he was awarded an Emmy for the CBS special The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
He was also long-time President of CARTOON and part of the selection committee at Annecy 1987.
- We would also like to take time out to mention the passing of Pascual Perez, on 29th December 2015.
Born in Spain in 1967, he started his animation career in 1998, before joining Aardman Animations, where he worked on many productions including the 2006 Oscar winning short Wallace & Gromit: the Curse of the WereRabbit. He made his first personal short, Història d’Este, in 2011, which walked away with the Jury Junior award at Annecy 2012.
The Festival will spotlight these three animators in the Big Sleep special programme, which pays tribute to filmmakers who have recently left us.