Richard Williams Passes
It was with shock that I read of the death of Richard Williams last week, just after I had posted about him (No. 193: Page One-eleven). He was 86 years old, but that doesn't lessen the regret I felt for his absence from the 2D animation world; he loomed larger than anyone in his reverence and enthusiasm for drawn animation, and for all that he did to try to sustain it and make it into a noble art.
We have his great book, The Animator's Survival Kit, and we have the instructional DVD collection that he created afterwards, and we have all his films and drawings to treasure and learn from, and though I am given to understand that he could be difficult to work with, he made a great positive impact on animators around the world. His work will continue to inspire and stimulate for decades to come, I am sure.
|Richard Williams as he looked in his early forties.|
As I have said, I was privileged to attend the first of his Master Classes, and I got to experience his charisma and his dedication first hand. A great raconteur, he entertained us with hilarious imitations of such animation personalities as Milt Kahl and Grim Natwick while at the same time impressing us with the lore he had learned at the feet of those two and as many other of the aging golden age animators as he could muster. Before they passed away, he hired and learned all he could from Ken Harris, Art Babbitt and Abe Levitow, and then he scribed it all down for us in his clear and detailed way, for he was not only a great designer and artist and animator, he was a great teacher as well.
|A couple of pages from my personal notebook made during the|
Animation Master Class in 1995.
Richard Williams has died, but his legacy remains for now and for the future.