Commentary &commercial animation 04 Dec 2011 07:51 am

Vince Cafarellii (1930-2011)

- I’m sorry to report the sad news that Vincent Joseph Cafarelli died in his sleep yesterday.
He was 81 years old.

“Vinnie” was a principal mainstay in the New York animation industry. He worked at Famous Studios on classic characters Popeye, Little Audrey and Baby Huey.

Later he worked at Gifford Animation on such advertising campaigns as the Piels Brothers and TipTop Bread. Margaret Hamilton provided the voice for Emily Tipp! You can go here to see 3 examples of the TipTop Bread commercials produced in the 1950′s.

Vince joined Stars and Stripes Forever, Inc, as their first employee upon his return from London, England where he worked with Pablo Ferro. Stars and Stripes was owned by producer Bob Staats and designer Len Glasser. They became the hottest boutique shop in the psychedelic 60’s creating such classics as: Chicken of the Sea “Mermaid”, Speakeasy, Sparklettes, and Ortho.

While at Stars and Stripes Vince worked with designer, Hal Silvermintz and film editor, Buzz Potamkin. Those two left to form Perpetual Motion Pictures, Inc. and after Stars and Stripes folded, Vince went to join them. There he was responsible for many ad campaigns and co-directed Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City and animated on all 5 Berenstain Bears holiday specials. He co-directed Deck the Halls With Wacky Walls.

Ultimately, Vinnie joined with Candy Kugel to form Buzzco Associates where he remained to the end. The two of them worked together for many years. You can check out a gallery of his art at AWN.

I’ve known Vinnie for 35-40 years, and can’t think of a sweeter gentler soul in animation. Most recently we’ve met on a number of occasions at the Academy. We spent a lot of the ten hours watching the long list of shorts and had a good time talking about them. I’ll miss his presence. My heart goes out to his family as well as Candy Kugel and Marilyn Kraemer who’ve spent every day with him for the past forty-odd years together. The three were partners in business and friendship and were completely dependent on each other.

More details of his life as well as information on memorial services will be forthcoming later. Buzzco is intending a memorial to take place on the Epiphany, January 6th, 2012; I will make sure to post further information on this site.

19 Responses to “Vince Cafarellii (1930-2011)”

  1. on 04 Dec 2011 at 8:39 am 1.Mark Mayerson said …

    I’m terribly sorry to hear this. I met Vince in 1976 at J.C. Productions, where he was involved in commercials for Hostess and I was a production assistant. He was a very nice guy. My condolences to Candy Kugel.

  2. on 04 Dec 2011 at 9:24 am 2.Jason said …

    Sad sad news. Vince was a sweet person. A great loss to us all.

  3. on 04 Dec 2011 at 10:30 am 3.Richard O'Connor said …

    Just saw Candy post this on Facebook and got a little sadder.

    He was truly one of the “good guys” -an open and gentlemanly person.

    Before those studios you mentioned, he worked for Lee Blair’s Film Graphics -which is where he would have met Ferro and also Ed Smith and Fred Mogubgub. It’s a testament to his character that half-a-century later he would still be friends with Ed and that he was close with Freddie until his passing.

    We need more people like Vin.

  4. on 04 Dec 2011 at 12:26 pm 4.David Levy said …

    Thanks for the post, Michael. Such sad news. Buzzco is one of those studios that represents the very heart of NY Animation. With Vincent’s passing, we’ve all suffered a big loss. Much love and hugs to Candy, Marilyn, and the entire Buzzco family.

  5. on 04 Dec 2011 at 1:29 pm 5.DEBRA SOLOMON said …

    Hi Michael – thank you for the post- Vinnie will be sorely missed- he was always
    a smiling presence at ASIFA events and caring and dear man to his freinds and fellow animation colleagues . And David said it well, love and hugs to Candy and Marilyn and the entire Buzzco family .

  6. on 04 Dec 2011 at 2:50 pm 6.Tom Sito said …

    Thanks for the posting Mike. Pat and I send our deepest condolences. I worked a bit for Perpetual Motion around 1977-78 when they were one of the largest studios in the NYC area. Vinny was a great guy. Our hearts go out to Candy in this sad time.

  7. on 04 Dec 2011 at 7:08 pm 7.Gil Ortiz said …

    Vince the Prince, may you rest in peace.
    One of my first friends I made when I moved to New York, not just a friend, a mentor, big brother, collaborator, I was making $75 a week back then, Stars and Strips was upstairs from Richard Beattie’s studio. We would go for drinks at the Kitty Hawk on 3rd ave.
    beers and chicken wings were my dinner, and in the background would play ‘Wild Horses’ by the Stones.
    I’ll always remember you Vince.

  8. on 04 Dec 2011 at 8:55 pm 8.Russell Calabrese said …

    I was shocked to get this bad news.
    I spoke to him, Candy Kugel and Bryon Moore using Skype a few months ago. It was great seeing Vinnie on the computer! Vince along with Hal Silvermintz were great mentors for me at Perpetual Motion Pictures when I first got into this crazy bizniz! I miss them both.

  9. on 04 Dec 2011 at 10:57 pm 9.cotty kilbanks said …

    This news was so sad since I was looking forward to seeing him soon on my NYC visit. I worked with Hal Silvermintz, Vinny, and Candy for many years. His drawings were always so beautiful and fluid and he was recently helping me with my Roadmen project. He truly was not only a prince…but a king of New York animation. I will surely miss his enthusiastic personality.

  10. on 05 Dec 2011 at 2:29 pm 10.Larry Ruppel said …

    Very sad news indeed!

    I was just discussing Vinnie’s very long career
    with Candy Kugel on Thursday night.

    For decades Vinnie’s name was so often mentioned as a master animator. It was a great pleasure to have finally met him earlier this year at an ASIFA event.
    He was extremely charming and quick-witted.

    I wish I had known him better. He will surely
    be missed here in the NYC animation community.

  11. on 05 Dec 2011 at 8:09 pm 11.Dan Haskett said …

    So sorry to hear this. I remember Vinnie as a gentle, soft-spoken soul who helped humanize our often insane business atmosphere. My condolences to Candy.

  12. on 05 Dec 2011 at 11:10 pm 12.Masako said …

    I am truly sorry to hear this sad news. Although I never worked with him, it is a great loss for the New York animation community. My deepest condolences to Candy…

  13. on 07 Dec 2011 at 3:52 am 13.Mike Fleischmann said …

    I read about Vinnie’s passing in the Times. Although I only met him once, when I took my daughters to Buzzco several years ago, I found him very friendly and willing to share his craft with others. My condolences to his family, his business associates, and of course, to Candy. His importance to the New York animation scene is undisputed, and his legacy will carry on.

  14. on 07 Dec 2011 at 12:54 pm 14.Candy Kugel said …

    Thanks to everyone for their kind words. Vince was laid to rest this morning.
    I cannot express how grateful I am for your lovely wishes and how they moved Marilyn, Rick and me. If Vince was like a father to many of you, you are like a family to us. We have shared your good wishes with his widow, daughter and her family.
    We will celebrate Vince’s life in an Open House, here at Buzzco, on Epiphany, Friday, January 6th, from 4-9 pm.
    I have eaten lunch with him for 38 years and shared with him a passion for our art. We know it was a blessing for him to spend his last day at work doing what he loved, to go home, go to bed and leave us peacefully.
    We miss him– and will love him always.

  15. on 07 Dec 2011 at 6:23 pm 15.Jonas Raeber said …

    Just learned the sad news… what a shock! And he was 81? Always thought the man must be eternally 60… only to learn now, that he was 60 in 1990 already, when I worked at Buzzco as an intern. Vincent made me number all these dope sheets by hand, and the latest technological hype was a video linetester, where grabbing one frame took 10 seconds of preroll and 10 seconds of rewind-time… or so.
    Sweet memories of brief few months spent with that fabulous team at Buzzco. Candy, Marilyn, my sincere condolences. Thank you for your recent season’s greetings card, bearing Vincents signature. I’ll cherish it in his memory.

  16. on 08 Dec 2011 at 11:10 pm 16.Xeth Feinberg said …

    Very sad to hear this news, Vince was always a kind and supportive whenever I saw him. My deepest sympathy to Candy and all his friends and family.

  17. on 10 Dec 2011 at 5:00 pm 17.GG said …

    Vinnie was one of sweetest guys in the NYC animation scene and I’m truly shocked and saddened that he has passed on. When I moonlighted at Stars and Stripes (1970?) he was the go-to animator: in charge but not bossy, wise, calm, a pleasure to be around, and that is exactly as he was last month when we last chatted. We will miss him.

  18. on 07 Feb 2012 at 11:01 pm 18.Clare said …

    I didn’t know Vinnie but I am just blown away with his work. Thanks for posting this…he’s amazing.

  19. on 24 Sep 2016 at 5:10 pm 19.Joan Tarshis said …

    I knew Vinnie and Buzz and Hal when I worked at Stars and Stripes. I kept in touch with some as the years passed. I will never forget some of Vinnie’s antics and after hours and hours he would spring from his tiny animation room and burst into song: “Light my fire.Light my fire.” over and over…I think he did that to keep himself sane. I know it helped me. As I grow older I began looking for people from my past and I just found this today. Too soon some are gone, way too soon. But others remain.

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