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Celebrated animator John David Wilson dies

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Jul 01, 2013 | 7:16pm EDT

John David Wilson, a celebrated animator who worked on several classic Disney movies, has passed away at the age of 93. The Brit died in a nursing home in Lancashire, England on 20 June (13) after a battle with dementia. After losing his leg in a bomb attack during his time with the London Rifle Brigade in the 1940s North African Campaign, he returned to London and landed a job at Pinewood Studios, where he studied animation under David Hand, the director of Disney's 1937 landmark cartoon Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. He relocated to the U.S. to work at Disney in 1950, and worked on the studio's animations of Peter Pan, Lady & the Tramp and Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which went on to win an Oscar. He also enjoyed a stint at Hanna-Barbera Productions, where he contributed to The Flintstones, and went on to work on a variety of film and TV projects, including the animated opening of Grease and promos for The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. He also set up the Fine Arts Films company, was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and a founder of ASIFA Hollywood. He returned to England in 1995 after working on his final project, an animated TV series of Madeline in 1994. He is survived by his wife Fabian and his six children.

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