×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Animator Vincent Cafarelli dies

Created commercials, film shorts in long career

Vincent Cafarelli, a mainstay in the New York animation industry for more than six decades, died of natural causes in Brooklyn on Dec. 1. He was 81.

Cafarelli began in the industry in 1948 while still a teenager, working as an assistant animator at Paramount’s Famous Studios on properties involving classic characters such as Popeye, Little Audrey and Baby Huey.

He eventually came to work as an animator-director at nearly all of the major studios in Manhattan including UPA, Gifford Animation, Stars and Stripes Prods. (where he directed and animated over 300 spot commercials) and Perpetual Motion Pictures.

In the early 1960s Cafarelli worked with Pablo Ferro on film graphics for Stanley Kubrick in London, where they created titles for the 1964 Basil Dearden-directed feature “Woman of Straw,” starring Sean Connery, among other projects.

Back in New York at Animation Central and later at Kim & Gifford Studio, he animated the radio comedians Bob and Ray in a series of commercials for Piel’s beer commercials and actress Margaret Hamilton for Tip Top Bread.

In 1981, Cafarelli and Candy Kugel became the creative team at Buzzco Prods., from which they and Marilyn Kraemer formed Buzzco Associates in 1985, with Cafarelli as president/co-creative director.

Cafarelli directed hundreds of spots for major ad campaigns and television specials throughout his career, including some featuring famed characters such as the Berenstain Bears and Strawberry Shortcake.

Their production of commercials aside, Cafarelli and Kugel produced, animated and director a number of independent shorts that won critical acclaim as well as awards at film festivals including Annecy, Stuttgart, Rome, Rio and London. “KnitWits” premiered on opening night of the 1997 New York Film Festival with Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm.” Several of their shorts are in the film collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Vincent Joseph Cafarelli was born in 1930 in Brooklyn and served two years in the Army from 1951-53, working in Fort Benning’s graphics department.

He is survived by his wife, Francisca; a daughter; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Jan. 6, with details to be announced later. Donations may be made to the Brooklyn Museum. Correspondence may be sent to (and further information received from) Candy Kugel, Buzzco Associates, 33 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012 or at 212-473-8800 or 917-309-5449.

More Film

  • 'Boonie Bears' Creator Fantawild Producing 'Realm

    FilMart: 'Boonie Bears' Creator Fantawild Skews Older With 'Realm of Terracotta'

    Fantawild, the Chinese entertainment group behind the widely popular “Boonie Bears” animated franchise, is for the first time planning to target slightly older viewers with a new IP, “Realm of Terracotta.” Intended for teenagers, the adventure story is expected to hit theaters this summer. Fantawild has produced six “Boonie Bears” films in just seven years, [...]

  • Hong Kong Industry Executives Seek Clarity

    FilMart: Hong Kong Industry Executives Plead for Clarity on Mainland Chinese Tax Policies

    At a time of heightened scrutiny of tax affairs in China’s entertainment sector, even industry veterans in Hong Kong are struggling to figure out how to operate in the new financial environment and pleading for more clarity from the Chinese government. Hong Kong produces about 60 films a year, three-quarters of which are typically co-productions [...]

  • IQIYI Plans Summer Release for Animated

    IQIYI Plans Summer Release for Animated 'Spycies'

    IQIYI Motion Pictures, the film production and investment arm of Chinese streaming leader iQIYI, will release animated feature “Spycies” in China this summer, and overseas shortly afterwards. “Spycies” is a Sino-French co-production – a rarity as far as animated films are concerned – and the first animated film that iQIYI has co-produced with foreign filmmakers. [...]

  • Local Production Drive Sees CJ Entertainment

    Local Production Drive Sees CJ Entertainment Unveil Dozen International Titles

    Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ Entertainment has amped up its overseas filmmaking efforts to the point that it is now producing more movies outside Korea than at home. At FilMart in Hong Kong, CJ unveiled a slate of 13 new titles hailing from the U.S., Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. “Our aim is to find hidden [...]

  • Johnny Depp Reveals Photographer's Late Life

    FilMart: Johnny Depp to Reveal U.S. Photographer's Japanese Redemption in 'Minamata'

    The sleepy Japanese town of Minamata was the scene of one of the world’s greatest environmental disasters when it was poisoned by mercury in the 1970s. It was also the setting for a groundbreaking international treaty designed to control use of the deadly metal. U.K. sales agent HanWay Films will use its platform at FilMart [...]

  • Big-Budget 'Raging Fire,' 'The Rescue' Highlight

    Big-Budget Actioners 'Raging Fire,' 'The Rescue' Highlight Emperor's Upcoming Slate

    Big-budget action blockbusters “Raging Fire” and “The Rescue” headlined Emperor Motion Pictures’ (EMP) star-studded announcement at FilMart on Tuesday, which also saw many familiar Hong Kong faces returning for locally focused projects. EMP also highlighted its mainland Chinese projects at the event, including “Two Tigers,” a black comedy produced by and starring Vicky Zhao Wei [...]

  • 'Us' Box Office: Jordan Peele Movie

    Box Office: Can Jordan Peele's 'Us' Dethrone 'Captain Marvel'?

    Will lightning strike twice for Jordan Peele? That’s the big question this weekend as “Us,” the horror maven’s latest undertaking that puts the spotlight on not one, but two Lupita Nyong’os, arrives on the big screen. After Peele’s Oscar-winning directorial debut “Get Out” captured the zeitgeist and became a box office smash, audiences have been [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content