Skip to comments.Will Vinton, Oscar-Winning Legend of Claymation, Dies at 70
Posted on 10/05/2018 8:44:39 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
Will Vinton, the Oscar-winning visionary with the distinctive waxed mustache who coined the term "Claymation" and founded the studio that created the California Raisins, has died. He was 70.
Vinton died Thursday after a 12-year battle with multiple myeloma, his children Billy, Jesse and Alex announced in a Facebook post.
"He brightened any room with his signature mustache and continued to make jokes and laugh until the very end," they wrote. "His work will live on in animation history and will continue to inspire creative thinkers and makers."
The Oregon native saw himself as a filmmaker first and an animator second. With an eye for movement and design, he was a natural when it came to editing and camera work as well.
But one of Vinton's greatest talents was being able to spot talent and bring together groups of energized artists. (A young James Mangold was a writer on Vinton's Claymation Easter special in 1992. And Gus Van Sant shot reference footage for the animators to study poses and expressions of human actors.)
Vinton won his Oscar (shared with Bob Gardiner) in 1975 for the animated short film Closed Mondays. He later was nominated for other animated shorts Rip Van Winkle (1978), The Creation (1981) and The Great Cognito (1983) and for his visual effects work on Walter Murch's Return to Oz (1985).
He also won outstanding animated program Primetime Emmys for A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987) and for his Easter special and was nominated three other times.
(Excerpt) Read more at hollywoodreporter.com ...
The California Raisins released four studio albums on Priority Records between 1987 and 1988, and their signature song, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," landed on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the Raisins would continue to make their strongest impression through animated endeavors, and the characters proved popular enough that they were used to endorse Post's Raisin Bran cereal.
On November 4, 1988, CBS aired a primetime special entitled Meet the Raisins!. The musical mockumentary was again created by Vinton Studios and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Mr. Vinton probably never received the acclaim he deserved for creating that wonderful ad series.
The Brits did a fantastic job of claymation with two of my favorites, "Wallace and Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep."
RIP, Mr. Vinton...you brought joy to millions of people!
12 years is a long time to live with Myeloma, a blood cancer.
It sounds as though he had a full life.
I do recall the raisin ad campaign. I’m not familiar with his other efforts.
Thanks...I hadn’t seen that before. The computer / robot part was amazing.
This makes it sound as if Will Vinton invented Claymation. I still remember various claymations from before this time, many by George Pal.
You are correct. I think Vinton was the breakthrough artist with The California Raisins. He popularized the genre.
As Gumby wept, David and goliath looked for the meaning of life through their lutheran church. “But Davie ......
Menwhile Mr Bill was heard lamenting with his famous “Oooooo Noooooo”.
Jack Hammer LOVED Gumby back in the day...
Ahhh, "coined" - but not invented. I'm sure there were others even earlier, bu Art Clokey of "Gumby and Pokey" fame comes to mind immediately.
John Fogerty - Vanz Can’t Dance
Very nicely played!!
I totally forgot about those favorites. I was a huge fan of “Gumby” and “Davey and Goliath” when I was little.
I just read on Wiki that “Davey and Goliath” was produced first by the United Lutheran Church in America and later by the Lutheran Church in America. First I’ve heard of that.
I watched this show every day before school when I was a kid.
That was a good flick.
I knew about the Christian morals in the show. Hard to miss that even as a little kid. The name “Dave and Goliath” was rather obvious, too. I didn’t know it was produced by the Lutheran Church.
“Oh no, Mr. Bill!”
That would be a fun job, until all clay starts to look a-like.
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