Daily post 20 Jan 2014 02:09 pm

Spirited Away

Hedgehog

Hello Everyone

Michael passed away peacefully at dawn yesterday, January 19th.

His magnificent spirit is now free.

The Splog will remain and will be maintained and will continue to be a forum for the art of animation and all of the arts.

Thank you all for your support of Michael and his work. He holds you all in his heart (even though he may not admit it).

Heidi

97 Responses to “Spirited Away”

  1. on 20 Jan 2014 at 2:19 pm 1.Roberto Severino said …

    Wow. Very sad news and I was really hoping that Michael would get better. It’s good that Michael was able to maintain this blog for so long and provide readers with so much valuable content. I hope that his family is doing okay and that I’m very thankful for all the hard work that he put into making his blog one of the greatest animation destinations out there.

  2. on 20 Jan 2014 at 2:20 pm 2.Bill Burg said …

    Heidi, I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve checked this site nearly every day for the past two months, hoping for an update and good news. I’m deeply saddened, as are many other loyal readers, I’m sure. If there is a fund or charity to which we can contribute in Michaels name, please let us know.

  3. on 20 Jan 2014 at 2:35 pm 3.Brian said …

    I am sorry to hear of Michael’s passing. His films are an inspiration and I always enjoyed reading his blog posts.

  4. on 20 Jan 2014 at 2:41 pm 4.Andrea K Haid said …

    Wow, this is a shock to me. I wasn’t aware of personal issues in Michael’s life. I have always appreciated the amazing blog he kept and the contributions he made to animation.

  5. on 20 Jan 2014 at 2:51 pm 5.Stephen Worth said …

    Michael wasn’t just a great animator. He had a generous spirit, and that made him an inspiration and teacher to people all over the internet who never even met him.

  6. on 20 Jan 2014 at 2:53 pm 6.Teodor Ajduk said …

    Please, accept my most sincere condolences.
    He will miss a lot. Several times from him I received words of support that they mean a lot to me.
    We did not have the opportunity to meet each other because I’m from the other side of the globe.

  7. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:02 pm 7.Pierre Fontaine said …

    Hi Heidi,

    I never met Michael in person though I did have the opportunity once. I regret I never took that opportunity to introduce myself because Michael and I did e-mail each other on occasion as well as communicate through the comments on this website.

    This website was an enormous gift from Michael to the animation community and his grace and talent will be sorely missed.

    My condolences to all his friends and family.

    Love and prayers to you all,
    Pierre

  8. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:02 pm 8.Jerry Beck said …

    My most sincere condolences. I am proud to have been Michael’s friend for over 30, maybe 40 years. Best to you, Heidi.

  9. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:23 pm 9.Mike Peraza said …

    He was not only an animator, director and producer but also a person passionate about the history as well as the art of animation. He shared not only his well thought out views but endless pages of engaging imagery on this brilliant blog

    Thank you for your unselfish friendship Michael, from “one Mike to another” as you used to say.

    -Mike

  10. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:28 pm 10.Tom Sito said …

    I heard this morning. My mind still can’t accept the news. Pat and I send our sincerest condolences to you Heidi.

    Mike was my friend and compatriot for forty years. An excellent artist and craftsman. A champion of the art of animation. Someone who kept quality animation going in NYC when all his peers were fleeing West. For many years ASIFA/East was kept up by Michael’s efforts. So many people got their first start under his tutelage and encouragement.

    I was so grateful he came to my book signing last Sept. He seemed so gaunt and quiet it concerned me. Now I see why. It means all the more that he came.

    Thank You Michael for being my friend. Thank you for your career and thank you for your bright smile.

  11. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:38 pm 11.chris sullivan said …

    Thank you Michael for all you have done, and who you were, the world is not as good a place without you on it, gratefully your beautiful films will carry your spirit around..

  12. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:42 pm 12.Nancy Denney-Phelps said …

    Michael will be sadly missed for his splog which I read everyday and all of the generous help he gave to animators everywhere. We are all fortunate that he will live on through his films but his passing is a terrible loss for his family and many friends.

  13. on 20 Jan 2014 at 3:46 pm 13.Ward said …

    I’m completely saddened by this and will be offering my prayers and condolences to you, Heidi, and Michael’s entire family. He was an amazing spirit, a great artist, and I’m so honored to have met him, albeit briefly in Ottawa. We kept in touch throughout the years, often talking about midcentury animation, among other things. I loved coming here to his Splog and reading up on his thoughts about the wide variety of subjects he posted. Such an incredible influence to us all. Thank you, Michael, for everything that you did, and for the legacy that you leave behind. We will miss you terribly.

  14. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:05 pm 14.Ken Field said …

    Michael was so very kind to Karen (Aqua), my late wife, during her life and after she left us. I’m deeply saddened to hear this news.

  15. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:10 pm 15.Rudy Agresta said …

    I am so deeply saddened to hear of this…my prayers go out to you Heidi and to Michael’s family.

  16. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:15 pm 16.yoni salmon said …

    Orry to hear.i apreciated his work and learned a lot from him. Rest in peace

  17. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:19 pm 17.Mark Sonntag said …

    My sincere condolences. He was a very giving man, his love of animation touched all of us here. If there is great animation studio in the sky, he is with the greats he so admired. rest in peace.

  18. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:22 pm 18.Ray Hubley said …

    A very sad day.
    Michael, a collaborator with both my parents, and a longtime family friend was a talented and devoted acolyte to the great art form of animation. His passion and deep appreciation have obviously inspired many.
    He will be missed.

  19. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:30 pm 19.Sue Perrotto said …

    I’m stunned and saddened to hear of this. Michael was a true artist in every sense of the word, and he was so generous with his talent. I’ll always be grateful to him and will miss him. My heart and thoughts are with you, Heidi

  20. on 20 Jan 2014 at 4:35 pm 20.David Nethery said …

    We will miss you , Michael. I’m so sad to read the news this morning. Farewell and thank you.

    To Heidi, my sincere condolences. Like Tom Sito wrote above, I can’t quite comprehend Michael’s passing yet. I know it is true, but I don’t want to acknowledge it. Michael has been such an important voice as a filmmaker and an animation historian/teacher . I have often thought of Michael’s blog as a combination of an “online museum of animation/post-graduate educational course in animation ”. I’m glad to read that the blog will continue to be maintained online as an ongoing tribute to Michael.

  21. on 20 Jan 2014 at 5:24 pm 21.Doug Vitarelli said …

    Rest in peace Michael. I’ll miss you more than you’ll know.

  22. on 20 Jan 2014 at 5:26 pm 22.James Madison said …

    My deepest condolences.

  23. on 20 Jan 2014 at 5:26 pm 23.Ruth Hayes said …

    I’m so sorry to hear of Michael’s passing. This is a loss to all of us who love animation. My condolences to you, Heidi, and family.

  24. on 20 Jan 2014 at 5:32 pm 24.Judy Levitow said …

    I am saddened and shocked to hear this news. I noticed in the past few months that Michaels blog seemed quieter than usual and I was quietly concerned something was seriously wrong. He was such an amazing arbiter of what was best in the world of animation. His taste was spot on and his blog demonstrated his pure love for the art form and was always illuminating. I personally feel deprived to know that our world continues without him–not to mention what a loss this is to the world of animation. He was truly an artist and did not compromise his ideals…something I always admired about him.
    I have lost too many loved ones to cancer. My sincere condolences Heidi.

  25. on 20 Jan 2014 at 5:40 pm 25.Joakim Gunnarsson said …

    My sincerest condoleances. Michael spent so much time sharing his knowledge and thoughts on this blog. It was always a pleasure to head over to the “Splog” seeing what wonderful stuff he had posted. I never met him but it feels like I’ve lost a friend. He will truly be missed.

  26. on 20 Jan 2014 at 6:03 pm 26.Nadia said …

    Heidi!

    Sorry for you loss. We will miss Michael as well! Big hugs!

  27. on 20 Jan 2014 at 6:11 pm 27.Dilworth said …

    In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
       In the midst of his laughter and glee,
    He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
       For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

  28. on 20 Jan 2014 at 6:38 pm 28.Oswald said …

    Dear Heidi, I am very sad to read this and would like to express my sincere condolences. Michael’s blog has been a daily inspiration for many years now and one of the reasons I started a blog of my own. And I was grateful and amazed how openly and thoroughly he answered my e-mails although we have never met in person. Independent animation has lost a substantial mentor…

  29. on 20 Jan 2014 at 6:53 pm 29.Dave Levy said …

    Dear Heidi,

    Thinking of you on this sad day. What a wonderful bond Michael has given us all. Funny that someone so shy brought so many people together. I’m honored to have started my career with Michael and I will spend the rest of my time trying to live up to his standards and repay his belief in me. Rest in peace, Michael. I will always love you.

  30. on 20 Jan 2014 at 6:55 pm 30.Kathleen Quaife said …

    Deep condolences. Michael will continue to be a great inspiration. He was on my mind alot these last few days.. I sent a note to the blog Jan 19th just hours before he passed, wishing him well. Now I wish him a grand journey through the next mystery, and sincere condolences to family and friends.

  31. on 20 Jan 2014 at 6:55 pm 31.Carolyn Bates said …

    Such sad news. We are so sorry for your loss. Michael’s blog was always a highlight for me. He had such incredible insight and taste, always pointing out nuances in the entries. We send our condolences to you and the family.

  32. on 20 Jan 2014 at 7:06 pm 32.Brendan Body said …

    Very sorry to hear this. My condolences.

  33. on 20 Jan 2014 at 7:06 pm 33.Laura Bryson said …

    Michael, I pray God’s Heavenly canvass gives you everlasting inspiration. We are all going to miss you so much. You were generous to give so many of us our first chances, and the impact of that is indelible on our lives. Thank you for keeping it real, honest, inspiring, challenging and for bringing us all together. Thank you for bringing us Heidi; we won’t let you down.

  34. on 20 Jan 2014 at 7:08 pm 34.ALexandre Vieira said …

    I’m really sorry for your loss Heidi!

    I will always read the blog! It was so inspiring to the animation art world!!!

  35. on 20 Jan 2014 at 7:09 pm 35.Stephen Macquignon said …

    Thank you Micheal for being a part of my life.

  36. on 20 Jan 2014 at 7:26 pm 36.Eric Goldberg said …

    Mike was my first real “boss” on my first real job, Assistant Animator on Raggedy Ann and Andy. I’m sure he had a hand in getting me to be Tissa David’s assistant as well, and for all of that, I will be eternally grateful. I learned a lot from Mike in my formative years, and I truly appreciate the confidence he had in me. I also enjoyed hearing his laugh – reminded me of Elmer Fudd at 78 rpm – at the latest Jim Logan caricature, and I was always struck by his knowledge, generosity of spirit, and passion for the art, craft, and medium of animation. As many have said, he will be missed in our community for the insightful running commentary on the medium that he provided on Splog for so many years. My sincerest condolences to you, Heidi, and Michael, thanks for everything. The alumni of the scrappy New York Raggedy Ann crew will miss you.

  37. on 20 Jan 2014 at 7:52 pm 37.anik said …

    So sorry to hear. Michael is a great inspiration, both professionally and as a person.

  38. on 20 Jan 2014 at 8:26 pm 38.John Celestri said …

    My deepest condolences to you, Heidi. This is a major loss for all members of the animation community. Michael was the first working artist I ever spoke to when I broke into New York animation back in 1974. That’s 40 years ago. I’ll miss him.

  39. on 20 Jan 2014 at 8:28 pm 39.Eddie Fitzgerald said …

    What!!!!??? That’s shocking! I just can’t believe it. Why didn’t he say something? I thought he’d be back here any day now. I had no idea his problem was so serious.

    Heidi, I’m so sorry for your loss. Any information you can add to what’s here would be much appreciated.

  40. on 20 Jan 2014 at 9:11 pm 40.Doug Howick said …

    So sad! He will be missed by more friends than even he was aware he had, who have been cheered by his thoughts and comments every day for many years.

  41. on 20 Jan 2014 at 9:17 pm 41.Charles Kenny said …

    Hearing of Michael’s passing caused me some distress this morning. Through his Splog, he enlightened us all about animation, filmmaking, New York, and indeed, himself. It is a testament to his dedication and determination that he kept the Splog active as long as he did and for that I am eternally grateful.

    His absence will leave a large hole in many lives, but his many contributions to them will not be forgotten.

    My sincerest condolences to you, Heidi and the rest of his family.

  42. on 20 Jan 2014 at 10:12 pm 42.John Occhiuto said …

    Sorry to hear that Michael has passed, I almost worked with him in the 80′s when I was a young artist. He will be missed.

  43. on 20 Jan 2014 at 11:32 pm 43.Mark Mayerson said …

    My condolences to you Heidi. Michael was a great film maker, a great boss and a great friend. His passing leaves a major hole in my life.

  44. on 20 Jan 2014 at 11:36 pm 44.Neil Hunter said …

    So sorry to hear of Michael’s passing. His uploads, comments and insights will be missed by all who visited this site.
    My condolences.

  45. on 21 Jan 2014 at 12:43 am 45.Bill Benzon said …

    I am shocked and saddened over this news. My condolences to you, Heidi.

    This blog is a treasure and was on my regular circuit of internet sites. I’m grateful to Michael for the help and encouragement he’s given me in my own explorations of animation. He will be missed. He’s done so much for animation in so many ways.

  46. on 21 Jan 2014 at 12:55 am 46.Robert Schaad said …

    Michael was so generous with his love of animation (as the Splog is testament to that)and not afraid to voice his opinions and dislikes. Aside from animation, there were many notable posts on the everyday things we so often overlook. Glad for the times spent talking to him at various events.

    Michael, you will be missed.

  47. on 21 Jan 2014 at 3:33 am 47.Zane Whittingham said …

    I am very saddened to here the news of Michael passing away. He helped in the promotion of my films through this website, which has educated and entertained me daily over the years!

  48. on 21 Jan 2014 at 3:42 am 48.Ingrid Allaert said …

    My sincerest condolences. Michael was and is an inspiration to us all.
    Thank you Michael.

  49. on 21 Jan 2014 at 9:01 am 49.Kathy Drasher said …

    So terribly sad. Michael has taught me so much. I am so grateful– and so very glad to hear the splog will continue on.

  50. on 21 Jan 2014 at 10:00 am 50.Doug said …

    I have been visiting this Splog for years now, truly one of my daily stops. Michael’s lack of posting of late has been a hole in my day and I was concerned. Now I am truly saddened. I wish you only the best Heidi and may you take solace in the messages here – he touched many people’s lives (and I’m one who has never met the great man).

  51. on 21 Jan 2014 at 10:28 am 51.Leila said …

    I have been a regular visitor to Michael’s Splog over the years, and have learned a great deal from his writing and from the artwork and animation he posted. I want to express my gratitude and my sincerest sympathies to Heidi and to his family.

  52. on 21 Jan 2014 at 11:46 am 52.Heather H said …

    I’m so sorry to learn this sad news. My condolences to Heidi and all of Michael’s family, friends, and fans. I last saw Michael at the Ottawa animation festival in 2008, at a retrospective screening of his work. He had to catch a plane that was scheduled to leave during this show (the second of two screenings of his retrospective), but he still came out to the Museum of Civilization, with luggage in hand. He gave an incredibly smart, warm, and charming introduction, then bolted off to the airport at top speed. I remember checking his splog later to see if he’d caught that plane. He did! He made it so easy to admire and appreciate him, and he will be missed.

  53. on 21 Jan 2014 at 11:52 am 53.Lewis Achenbach said …

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Heidi. And Christine’s. He is a great man. And his influence is immeasurable. His art, hard copied in our minds.

  54. on 21 Jan 2014 at 3:36 pm 54.Robert S. Jersak said …

    Michael was always kind and responsive to fans. I cherish the few short correspondences I had with him. I have long hoped to meet him in his studio in NY. Now I will have to catch up with him a bit further up, at some later point. Until then, I’ll be sharing his work with my daughter, and letting his examples inspire me to be the finest, open-hearted artist/animator I feel I can be.

  55. on 21 Jan 2014 at 4:32 pm 55.Ignacio Ochoa said …

    Hi Heidi, I’m from Argentina, you know, here is very expensive to get books on animation, and all the material that Michael shared here every day was like gold to me. I learned a lot with their publications, and even, I sent him material from here that he then posted on his blog. He was my favorite animation critic. He was a teacher at distance that I never knew in person. My condolences to you.

  56. on 21 Jan 2014 at 9:21 pm 56.Matt Jones said …

    What a shocking tragedy! Micheal consistently maintained the best blog on our artform. I’ll miss his informed opinion and passionate posts on the art of animation. RIP good sir you shall be missed.

  57. on 21 Jan 2014 at 11:42 pm 57.David said …

    I am sorry.

    And thank you.

  58. on 22 Jan 2014 at 1:41 am 58.Mark Kausler said …

    I’m very sorry, Heidi, to hear of Mike’s passing. I still have a 331/3 recording of his interview with Jack Mercer many years ago. His blog was one I read often, and left comments on every once in awhile. Mike made many wonderful animated films, I guess my favorite is the one about the guy who walked the tightrope between the Towers. The story was very well organized, and really made me care about the tightrope walker. Mike liked the Duane Crowther letters I posted that Duane wrote from New York, so we had a little exchange there. Rest in peace, Mike, we’ll always remember you.

  59. on 22 Jan 2014 at 3:56 am 59.Joanna Priestley said …

    My deepest condolences. We have lost a great filmmaker and creative, visionary blogger. I adored Doctor DeSoto and was very happy to meet Michael at a festival in those early years.

  60. on 22 Jan 2014 at 8:02 am 60.Hans Perk said …

    This news comes as a chok to me. I have not been keeping abreast of the blogs as I should have been, the Splog having been my first stop on the web for so long. Mike was always supportive of my own postings, and I will always keep him in mind when I think of the Multiplane camera…

    The one time I met Mike, in his New York studio, he was as open and friendly as he sounded through his Splog postings. Now, New York has lost much of its appeal, with Mike gone. My sincerest condolences – to Heidi, but also to the entire animation community. We have lost one of the Greats.

  61. on 22 Jan 2014 at 9:31 am 61.Hanson said …

    I am sorry to hear it.Thank you

  62. on 22 Jan 2014 at 10:06 am 62.sybil delgaudio said …

    So very sorry to hear of Michael’s passing. He generously appeared in our documentary about John and Faith Hubley, in which he spoke lovingly about his time at the Hubley Studio and of the influence of his mentor, John.

  63. on 22 Jan 2014 at 11:28 am 63.Dave Heiss said …

    So sorry for your loss Heidi and Christine. He was a great man and I count myself lucky that I was able to work with him and get to know him.

  64. on 22 Jan 2014 at 11:35 am 64.Raul said …

    Michael was a great inspiration and a wonderful person.
    He will be missed.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    he will be forever in our heart.

  65. on 22 Jan 2014 at 11:46 am 65.Amy said …

    I’m terribly sorry for your loss, and very sad to hear it.
    Michael, his work and his writing will be sorely missed. I have learned so much from reading this site and am really grateful to him for all the time and work he put into it.
    Sending my love from London UK.

  66. on 22 Jan 2014 at 12:56 pm 66.Rich Simms said …

    I had the fortune to meet Michael a couple of times in professional and casual settings.
    Fresh out of animation school, Michael was very gracious and encouraging to me.
    I have maintained a distant kinship (maybe a bit of hero worship) over the years.
    I was very disheartened to hear of his passing.
    He will certainly be missed.
    Sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

  67. on 22 Jan 2014 at 3:07 pm 67.Tom Davidson said …

    Michael’s Splog has been, and continues to be, an incredibly influential resource to me and my cartooning career. His passionate contributions to the cartooning arts cannot be understated. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  68. on 23 Jan 2014 at 1:10 am 68.Daryl Boman said …

    Hearing of Michael’s passing saddens me deeply.
    My heartfelt condolences.

  69. on 23 Jan 2014 at 12:06 pm 69.Kevin Hogan said …

    Thank you for keeping the Splog going. I’m so sorry for your loss- and mine as well.

  70. on 23 Jan 2014 at 12:40 pm 70.Tony Eastman said …

    Dear Heidi,

    It is with great sadness that I write today. I had been Michael’s friend for more than 40 years.

    With both of us working in animation, our lives intersected many times. I had projects that I had planned to reminisce with Michael about one day… it is my loss that I didn’t act sooner.

    Susan and I send our sympathy to you and the rest of Michael’s family.

    Tony

  71. on 23 Jan 2014 at 2:54 pm 71.Francesco said …

    Riposa in pace. Condoglianze.

  72. on 23 Jan 2014 at 3:01 pm 72.Philippe Ghyssens said …

    From Little Belgium, I am very sad to learn of the death of Michael. He became one of the best inspiration for my work. This is the first time I felt so sad in my life to someone I’ve never had the chance to meet. Sincere condolences.

  73. on 23 Jan 2014 at 9:59 pm 73.Charles Brubaker said …

    My sincere condolences, Heidi. Michael will be missed.

  74. on 24 Jan 2014 at 10:41 am 74.Melinda said …

    Dear Heidi,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I knew you back in the early 1990′s when I worked on Broadway and you were always so kind to me. I remember how your eyes lit up when you spoke of Michael and it’s good to know you had many years of happiness together.
    There really aren’t enough words of comfort during a time like this, but just know there are many of us who will be thinking of you.
    Melinda

  75. on 24 Jan 2014 at 10:47 am 75.Eduardo Darino said …

    It took me several days to recoup from the sad news. Now I can sit to add my sorrow and reassert that Michael’s memory will remain but YES, you will be missed, a lot. We were all young back in the 70′s when Dick introduced us and Tissa tried me with a first assignment and I shoot the first tests for Michael. He was always warm, creative, professional. Life went through and I got back to him through the splog after my chemo. We didn’t have time to catch up on who was still around or how much technology had changed from the days of 1600 Bway or the Optical House. We made fun of my first bolex and felt sorry that my Cinetron was gone, but Hei! it was “wasted” in Paris… The mane of curly hair and your smile draw an indelible icon that will remain daily with us.

  76. on 24 Jan 2014 at 12:36 pm 76.Mechthild Schmidt Feist said …

    My condolences to Michael’s family and friends!

    This site is on the reading list for my students (DCoM, NYU McGhee). Michael’s life is a reminder to animation artists who have the independent spirit to pursue their own work!
    He will be missed!
    Mechthild

  77. on 24 Jan 2014 at 4:01 pm 77.Dennis Hermanson said …

    January 23, 2014 New York Times obituary for Michael was a fitting, and moving tribute to an artist of animation, a friend to countless artists of all types, and the creator of many beautful small films that gave children gently, loving stories for them to grow with.

    Although I only know him via my pal Tom Hachtman, and the web, I feel that his breadth of knowledge of animation, his carefully created works in film, digital and the web, and his continuing source of joy and work that he shared with many others who were with him through the years… serve as a great icon for all new animators and artists to aspire to…

    Great work, good friends, joy in sharing, and a love for the past as you create your future.

    Live on, Michael, in all that you did, and all that you shared.

    Dennis Hermanson
    Hillsborough, NC USA

  78. on 25 Jan 2014 at 6:29 am 78.G. Hickey said …

    My Dad is an avid follower of this page and community-at-large. He has loved animation and “everything inbetween” since birth. This news is very tragic and upsetting to all of us. Michael will be forever remembered!
    Our sincerest condolences to everyone, friends and family, of Michael’s.
    From The Hickey’s

  79. on 25 Jan 2014 at 2:36 pm 79.Steven Hartley said …

    I had no idea that Mike had been ill for sometime, but I’m glad to have had the privilege to speak to a great animator, even though I didn’t know him well enough.

    Rest in peace, Michael!

  80. on 25 Jan 2014 at 11:05 pm 80.Madeline Fan said …

    Dear Heidi,
    My deepest sympathy for you and Michael’s family.
    I am filled with gratitude that I had a chance to work with Michael. I didn’t know when I was so young that how he made art and how he ran his studio were so amazing. I just thought it was cool and he made amazing cartoons that I was really proud of. I am very sad at the news of his suffering and passing. His work influences my artwork every day.
    I’m happy you will keep the blog up and that you posted.
    It’s a great legacy.
    Madeline

  81. on 27 Jan 2014 at 2:06 pm 81.Ernest Troost said …

    Dear Heidi,

    I’m so sorry to hear the news of Michael’s passing. Please accept my sincere condolences. What a loss. I had no idea he was sick, so it’s a terrible shock.

    Michael’s role as mentor comes up again and again in the posted tributes. He introduced so many young artists to the world of animation. Even though I’m not a artist, but rather a composer who scored many of Michael’s shorts, he had a similar impact on me.

    When he asked me to score the first film we worked on together, I had no idea what I was in for. Michael was extremely knowledgeable about film music and proceeded to start making up cassette tapes of film music he thought might inspire me. Cassette after cassette of music by Jerry Goldsmith–one of his favorites–and others arrived in the mail, and I got a great education on the use of music in film. More than once we stayed up late into the night screening vintage animated shorts at his apartment, and he would talk about the soundtracks, what he liked and didn’t like. His enthusiasm for film animation and how music worked with it was inspiring. I must have listened to hundreds of hours of the soundtrack cassettes he made for me. He also gave me his collection of Elmer Bernstein’s film music newsletter, the Cue Sheet. They were chock-full of interviews and analyses of scores from the golden age of Hollywood. And they had a profound affect on what I came to love about writing music for films. I will always be grateful to him for that education.

    Michael loved to argue with me about music and film, which he always did with a big smile on his face, and I remember walking around Manhattan in the ’80s on our lunch hours, arguing about the musical approach for Dr. DeSoto, his Academy Award nominated film. He saw it as having a New York flavor, and I wanted to go with a European flavor. One day he handed me a cassette of an obscure Sondheim score for the film Stavisky. Here was a New York composer Michael adored, writing in a European style, and that became our solution: we would go with a waltz. We were both happy with the resulting score, and it’s one of my all-time favorites.

    What I loved about working with Michael was that he would leave me alone to write and record a score, and once it was done, he’d go over it and point out the good parts as well as the parts that didn’t quite capture what he had hoped for. He’d say, next time you have to go farther if you want that effect to read. He was invariably right.

    I will miss his smile and laugh, and I will never listen to a piece of Jerry Goldsmith’s music without thinking of Michael and all those cassettes he made for me. Rest in peace, my friend.

    Ernest Troost
    Los Angeles, CA

  82. on 27 Jan 2014 at 2:51 pm 82.Kellie said …

    I am very sad to read this – the generosity and sincerity he showed here was wonderful. My best wishes to his family and friends.

  83. on 29 Jan 2014 at 8:44 am 83.vm said …

    Rest in peace Michael.

  84. on 30 Jan 2014 at 8:46 pm 84.Jenny Lerew said …

    Hans Perk pretty much wrote my thoughts exactly. I, too, have been remiss in visiting blogs-with others, I figured I’d easily catch up but with Michael’s I felt (rightly) quite guilty, if not angry, that I fell far behind. No excuses. His posts were meaty, substantial, each one another world unto itself of art, life, and just great thoughts. He truly did put himself into his writing so beautifully that this is a shocking loss. I’m so grateful for his online friendship and support, and for his graciousness in letting me hang out at his studio a-way back in 2009. He’ll be so missed.

  85. on 03 Feb 2014 at 6:01 pm 85.the Gee said …

    I intended upon passing along my condolences earlier. If I had, I would have written too much.

    He was a great person who did some great things. The world will always have people like that who don’t make impacts on the lives of others. However, Michael did have an overwhelmingly positive impact on others and that will likely be part of the reason why they will continue to shine their lights, making things a bit better for others. Legacy. He left a great legacy. He was helpful, generous and I respected his convictions. I’ll miss him.

    Heck, the Splog is a wonderful thing. There’s plenty of websites which try to be wonderful and which change somewhere along the way. Then there are others which just stop. Those sites won’t and don’t have the enduring aspects that the Splog has. It is nice to know it will continue to be maintained. I’m grateful for that and I’m glad others seem to be grateful, too.

    Anyway, I wish everyone the best.

  86. on 09 Feb 2014 at 8:21 am 86.Heidi Stallings said …

    The following is a tribute written by Candy Kugel. I offered to post it for her when the Splog replied that her comment had already posted. Thank you Candy for the moving tribute.

    I’ve tried to write quite a number of times since Heidi posted this lovely tribute, but somehow the gremlins have blocked me… I will now try to post from another e-mail address…

    My condolences to Heidi and to all who have been touched by Michael.

    Michael was my first friend in the animation industry. That’s what we called it back then. Upon his advice we served on the Executive Board of Screen Cartoonists 841 together (we’d get our dues back!). We navigated the narrow gulf that existed back then between the commercial studios and the independents. We watched movies together and went to festivals and discussed the merits and shortfalls of the films.

    We started our own studios about the same time, and actually sometimes they were close to each other (40th Street, Bleecker Street) We exchanged hints and supplies. War stories. Personnel.

    I was pleased to have Michael work here after his lease ran out on his studio space. It was right after my late partner, Vincent Cafarelli, had died and I was grateful that he posted a lot of Vinny’s animation art collection on his Splog. And his presence made the absence of Vinny a bit less formidable.

    I will miss his dry wit, his chuckle and looking over and seeing his face. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  87. on 11 Feb 2014 at 8:51 pm 87.remi said …

    My sincere condolences.
    I don’t have so many blog bookmarked and this one is maybe one of the 5 blogs I dig once a month since ages. it’s like a treasure here and even if you can’t post here, please let the blog up.
    The generation need to be educated about the great art of animation ( my love for animation come from two blog, this one and the blog of Andreas Deja ).
    Sorry if my word are not perfect for the situation, english isn’t my native language.
    I wish you the best.
    remi

  88. on 14 Feb 2014 at 2:09 am 88.Don Carlson said …

    He helped me with numbering my X-sheets once in 2009. In 2011 I finished the film. Thanks, Michael.

  89. on 14 Feb 2014 at 8:51 am 89.Andrew said …

    Sincere condolences from South Africa

  90. on 24 Feb 2014 at 4:48 am 90.Alexis said …

    I did not know Michael but I found this blog a few years ago, while studying animation – I could always count on it for inspiration, education and a laugh if I was feeling worn out about a project. Thankyou for everything you did.

  91. on 03 Mar 2014 at 5:58 pm 91.Christian said …

    I only knew Michael through his blog and I quickly became a regular reader, soaking up his enthusiasm and knowledge about animation. I learnt a great deal through his posts. Thank you.

  92. on 16 Mar 2014 at 12:58 am 92.Andrew said …

    Hello Heidi,
    Sorry this message came so late but I offer my sincere condolences for the loss of Michael.
    I feel so sorry for what you are going through, especially when I had lost my father only few months ago right after my college graduation. I hope that you and your family are feeling better and be sure to remember that time really will heal.
    I discovered Michael’s blog by sheer chance only few years ago around 2010 or 2011 and I have been following it daily ever since.
    It was a joy just to observe all the art, animation history, and Michael’s honest thoughts on the current state of animation. I could really feel his passion for animation and his constant desire to see and to make high quality art.
    I only got to know him through this blog and the only personal contact I made with him were the comments I left on some of his posts, to which he graciously gave inspiring answers.
    And yet, hearing about Michael’s passing really makes me feel like I had lost someone great in my life.
    Michael, especially through his blog, is one of the people who gave me a whole new respect for animation as an art form and I am forever grateful to him for that. I just wish that I had known him better. So on his behalf, I want to say thank you.

  93. on 16 Mar 2014 at 1:39 pm 93.Andrew said …

    Correction to that ending: I meant So I want to say thank you, Michael.

  94. on 05 Jun 2014 at 1:44 pm 94.Joshua said …

    I am so sorry to hear of Michael’s passing. He will be missed. I have always enjoyed reading his site and I am glad that it will stay up to continue his good work. May he rest in peace.

  95. on 06 Jun 2014 at 10:08 am 95.Judy said …

    missing Michael today. Checking in with him and his blog was like a sweet treat in this world…he always had the most tasty morsels of art and animation to share.
    hope you are holding up heidi…i am a widow as well so i know the loss.

  96. on 19 Oct 2014 at 12:53 pm 96.khedma said …

    I’m so sorry to hear that.

  97. on 11 Nov 2014 at 8:03 am 97.Ccam said …

    I am sorry to hear of Michael’s passin

Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

eXTReMe Tracker
click for free hit counter

hit counter