U.S. animator to speak at Italian event

ROME — American animator Don Bluth will receive the Pulcinella award for lifetime achievement at Italy’s 14th Cartoons on the Bay TV toons fest.

Bluth left Disney in the 1980s to set up the Sullivan Bluth studio in Ireland. He also started an animation course there at Ballyfermot Senior College, which spawned four of this year’s Oscar nominees including “The Secret of Kells” helmer Tomm Moore.

Bluth made “An American Tail” and the “Land Before Time” before more recently helming “Anastasia” and “Titan A.E.” for Fox Animation Studios.

Bluth is expected to speak at the confab, which will feature 471 international toon TV skeins competing in nine categories.

This year, Chinese animation will be celebrated with a delegation of animation artists and execs from China-based companies, including Kevin Geiger’s Beijing-based Magic Dumpling, BeTop Multimedia and Sandman Animation Studios, expected.

Cartoons on the Bay takes place in Italy’s northern riviera — Rapallo, Santa Margherita and Portofino. It runs April 15-18 as the Mip TV mart is winding down in Cannes, a three-hour car drive away for execs who want to attend both events.

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