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Animator Frank Terry (1939-2014)

Photo of Jerry Beck By Jerry Beck | Animation Scoop February 18, 2014 at 3:50AM

Word has reached us that longtime animation industry veteran director Frank Terry has passed away. Terry produced hundreds of commercials and later became a mentor and teacher to many as a faculty member at Cal Arts.
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Frank Terry 680

Word has reached us that longtime animation industry veteran director Frank Terry has passed away. According to his family:

"....(Frank) passed away on Tuesday, February 11th in the morning.  It was sudden in the sense that his diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis only came 2 1/2 months ago and he had a precipitous decline from Friday, February 7 until he passed on Tuesday" 

Frank Terry was the dean of the character animation program at the California Institute of the Arts for 11 years, 1996-2007. During his tenure there, numerous great short films were created and many students emerged from his class and entered the animation industry.

Terry received his BFA from the Chouinard Art Institute (1961-64) and focused on advertising commercial production, animated documentaries, titles and entertainment specials. His IMDB credits include The Beatles cartoons in the sixties and ABC’s 1982 special Stanley The Ugly Duckling.

Frank Terry first joined CalArts as a key member of the full-time animation faculty while simultaneously heading up his own production company, Terry X2. He spent many years producing animated TV commercials for such clients as  Keebler, Raid, Allstate, Kellogg, Green Giant, Neiman Marcus, American Express, Procter and Gamble, Mattel, Pillsbury and Quaker Oats. Terry had been a recipient of Gold and Bronze Awards from International TV and Film Festival in New York, as well as a recipient of the New York Art Directors Club Award for Best Animation.

Animator Mark Kausler writes:

"Frank Terry gave me my first full time job in the business, back in 1970, at Spungbuggy Works. Frank was partners in the business with Herb Stott. Did you know that Harold Mack, who animated for George Moreno on the Bubble and Squeek series in England, was Frank's mentor and idol? I think that Frank worked and animated in Mack's native country, either Norway or Sweden, can't remember now. I know that Frank would want Harold Mack's name mentioned, he really idolized Mack.

"Frank gave Marv Newland one of his early jobs at Spungbuggy, too. That's where they met and became friends. Frank and I didn't speak much after he fired me in 1972 for asking for a raise. Frank made several independent shorts, one of which consisted of filmed flip books. Frank was a master of the flip book, he took legal pads, cut them up into small books and animated straight ahead in them with a fountain pen! He helped me loosen up my animation when I was working for him, we used to do one commercial a week at Spungbuggy.

"Frank directed a classic spot for Tootsie Roll pops that was done in a 1930s style featuring an inside view of a mouth and teeth biting a Tootsie pop, the tongue tries to protect the candy (Paul Winchell's voice) saying, "No! You'll bite it!" 

He will be missed by many animation professionals working today. Here is his sequence from the classic Marv Newland short, Anijam (1984): 

Frank Terry
Frank Terry

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