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Animator Romanillos dies of leukemia

Artist drew the villain in 'Mulan'

Animator Priscillano “Pres” Romanillos, who worked at Disney and DreamWorks, died July 17 in Tujunga, Calif., of leukemia. He was 47.

Romanillos spent 21 years as an animator, drawing the villain Shan-Yu in Disney’s “Mulan” as well as the stallion in DreamWorks’ “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”

Born in the Philippines he immigrated to the United States as a child with his family. After studying at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, Romanillos joined Walt Disney Studios in 1989, when he worked on “The Little Mermaid” as a trainee. Other pics he animated included “The Rescuers Down Under,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Pocahontas.”

Romanillos jumped to DreamWorks where was animator on “The Road to El Dorado,” “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” “Shrek 2” and “Madagascar.”

He was helping to set up the Enne animation studio in Salamanca, Spain, when he was diagnosed with leukemia and returned to the U.S. for treatment. Los Angeles-area animators rallied to help him defray the cost of fighting the disease with an art auction called Pres Aid, which raised $65,000.

While in Spain, Romanillos directed a short, “The Old Chair,” based on a character from his blog.

His last work was for Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.”

Survivors include his wife of 14 years, Jeannine.

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