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Dan McLaughlin

  • Birthplace: Hollywood, California
Date of passing: 
March 15, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

Dan McLaughlin was an animator best known for his work as head of the Animation Workshop at UCLA from 1970 until his retirement in 2007. He took over the program from Dumbo animator Bill Shull and in 1971, founded the school’s M.F.A. Animation Program.

In 1968, McLaughlin’s student film from UCLA, "God Is Dog Spelled Backwards," which featured 3,000 years of art in three minutes, aired on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The experimental film was set to the instrumental piece “Classical Gas,” penned by Mason Williams, a staff writer for the CBS variety series. The guitarist asked McLaughlin to adjust his film, previously set to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, to the newly Top Ten hit.

McLaughlin also did animation for Sesame Street, and contributed to the series Cartoon Sushi. Additionally, his 1963 film Claude was honored at the Chicago International Film Festival.

Dan McLaughlin was an animator best known for his work as head of the Animation Workshop at UCLA from 1970 until his retirement in 2007. He took over the program from Dumbo animator Bill Shull and in 1971, founded the school’s M.F.A. Animation Program.

In 1968, McLaughlin’s student film from UCLA, "God Is Dog Spelled Backwards," which featured 3,000 years of art in three minutes, aired on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The experimental film was set to the instrumental piece “Classical Gas,” penned by Mason Williams, a staff writer for the CBS variety series. The guitarist asked McLaughlin to adjust his film, previously set to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, to the newly Top Ten hit.

McLaughlin also did animation for Sesame Street, and contributed to the series Cartoon Sushi. Additionally, his 1963 film Claude was honored at the Chicago International Film Festival.

He began his career in entertainment as a child actor, starting with a role when he was one year old, as the illegitimate child of Irene Dunne and Walter Huston’s characters in the 1933 film Ann Vickers. As an independent filmmaker, McLaughlin made more than 20 animated films. At the time of his retirement in 2007, the Animation World Network estimated that he had taught animation to 800 students and been an advisor on nearly 700 animated films.

At the 1995 Annie Awards, he received the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in animation; past recipients included Walt Disney, Chuck Jones, Max Fleischer, Walter Lantz and Tex Avery.

McLaughlin died March 15, 2016, in West Hills, California. He was 83.

 

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