Thanks to Barry O Donoghue for telling me about the passing of Jimmy Murakami, aged 80. Not only one of 'the founders of Irish Animation', but a truly global animation star, working for UPA, Toei and George Dunning's TVC as he criss-crossed the planet as a journeyman animator. With Fred Wolf, he setup Murakami-Wolf in 1965, the studio becoming one of the busiest commercial studios in the US. Murakami came to Ireland in 1971 and was supervising Director on 'The Snowman' in 1982. In Dublin, the Murakami-Wolf studio became synonymous with the 'Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle' tv series.
Murakami had an unshakable belief in the importance of art in animation and in the necessity for individual animators to make strong, personal, uncompromising and challenging statements through animation. In Ireland, we have long depended on Jimmy for his advice and guidance on all matters of animation education, art and business. We shall all miss him.