Vet animator Smith toons out Nelvana

Canadian animation studio loses a founding father

MONTREAL — Clive Smith, one of the three founders of Canuck animation producer Nelvana, has resigned from the Toronto-based company to pursue other projects.

Smith, who was senior exec VP, started Nelvana 30 years ago with Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert, who both still hold senior positions.

“We regret Clive’s decision to leave, but wish him the very best in his personal and professional pursuits,” said John Cassaday, CEO of Corus Entertainment, which owns Nelvana.

Father of ‘Care Bears’

Smith, who worked as an animator in his native England before moving to Toronto in the late 1960s, directed the animated Nelvana feature “Rock & Rule” and was the creative force behind “Care Bears,” “Pippi Longstocking,” “Babar” and “Rupert.” Most recently, he was involved in the development of the Nelvana feature adaptation of “Heidi,” based on the classic children’s book.

Smith will continue to work as a consultant on the anniversary book “Nelvana: Thirty Animated Years.”

“It is sad to leave the company I have helped build, but I believe it is now a good time for me to pursue some of my own personal projects and interests,” Smith said. “Nelvana is in good hands, and it should continue to have a bright and dynamic future with Corus’ strategic direction.”

Nelvana is Canada’s leading animation producer, with a library of 1,650 half-hours, shows on most of the leading U.S. networks and a fall 2001 lineup that includes five new series and 19 returning shows. Nelvana’s roster of animated fare includes “Medabots” on Fox Kids, “Braceface” on Fox Family Channel, William Joyce creation “George Shrinks” on PBS and “Rolie Polie Olie” on the Disney Channel.

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