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Richard Williams, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ Animator, Dies at 86

Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86.

Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as the animation director of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Williams also animated the title sequences for the “Pink Panther” franchise and received critical acclaim for his first film “The Little Island” in 1958 and his animated adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” in 1971, for which he won his first Oscar.

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” is widely regarded as a turning point in the animation field, earning Williams an Oscar for Best Visual Effects and Special Achievement. The addition of cartoon characters to live action footage was seamless, taking fourteen months of post-production and incorporating more than 100 animated elements into some scenes. The film also gave rise to some of Williams most popular creations, including Roger Rabbit and his wife Jessica Rabbit.

Williams was also passionate about sharing his animation skills with others, and began giving animation masterclasses in the 1990s to participants from studios such as Disney, Pixar, ILM, Dreamworks/PDI and Warner Bros. He also published a best selling book, “The Animator’s Survival Kit,” in 2001.

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