Industry News

Gene Deitch, an Oscar-winning illustrator, died in his residence in Prague. He died abruptly, according to Petr Himmel’s Czech publisher, who told The Associated Press.

At the age of 95, Gene Deitch passed away in Prague, where he lived with his wife and collaborator Zdenka Najmanova. He was the creator of Tom & Jerry and Sailor Popype.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 8, 1924, and grew up there. In 1959, he moved to Prague, where he lived for the rest of his life. A 10-day stay at first, then he met the love of his life and has stayed ever since.

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Popeye, another well-known movie about sailors, was one of his works. He directed 13 episodes of Tom and Jerry cartoons. In addition, he was responsible for the creation of Munro and Tom Terrific, Mighty Manfred, Nudnik, and several other animated shows.

Short biography

American illustrator, animator, and filmmaker Eugene Merril “Gene” Deitch (August 8, 1924 – April 16, 2020). Since 1959, he has lived in Prague.
In addition to UPA/Columbia Pictures and Terrytoons/20th Century Fox (Tom Terrific), Deitch also worked for MGM (Tom and Jerry), Paramount Pictures (Tom and Jerry), and Terrytoons (Nudnik, Popeye). Weston Woods was also founded by him.

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Seth Deitch, Kim Deitch, Simon Deitch, and Simon Deitch are all notable underground comics artists and authors, and Deitch was the father of all of them. His children and Zdenka, Deitch’s wife, survived him.
Deitch moved to Prague to work for Rembrandt Films after leaving the United States. Tom and Jerry, Popeye, Munro, and the Nudnik cartoons were some of the projects he worked on with Rembrandt in addition to Tom and Jerry and Popeye.

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He directed 13 episodes of the children’s favorite cartoon series Tom and Jerry, as well as several episodes of the Popeye franchise.

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In 1960, his short film Munro was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film. Here’s Nudnik and How to Avoid Friendship were both nominated for the award in 1964.

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Fans’ appreciation and condolences

Movie theaters were flooded with Tom and Jerry cartoons during their heyday. Some of Deitch’s admirers wrote him letters thanking him for making their favorite shorts because of its unique and surreal character. Some of Deitch’s Tom and Jerry shorts, such as The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit and Buddies Thicker Than Water, were well-received.

On Twitter, fans expressed their condolences and gratitude for his noteworthy work.

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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/
  6. Crehana Blog: 3D animation