Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ted Percival (d. 2011)

Ted Percival (far right, in uniform). At the top of the steps, smoking, is Reg Parlett
Ted Percival, whose career in animation stretched over five decades, recently died in hospital. He had been ill since shortly before Christmas. After suffering a bout of pneumonia which weakened him further, he died on the morning of 3 February.

William E. (Ted) Percival was one of the animators who worked on the 'Animaland' cartoons at Moor Hall for Gaumont-British Animation. His credits include The Lion (1948), The Ostrich (1948), The House-Cat (1949). One of his former colleagues described him as "a lovely man, always singing as he went along the corridors at Moor Hall."

When GB Animation closed its doors, Percival went to work with Pat Griffin, another Moor Hall refugee, at an animation production unit at the top of Castle Hill, Maidenhead, working on commercials. Percival later recalled "Whenever [Pat] wanted to see us, he would roll a cannon ball down the stairs - thumpety, thumpety, thump."

He subsequently worked with another former Moor Hall animator, Jack Stokes, who was directing episodes of a series of Beatles animated shows made for the United States by George Dunning's T.V.C. London animation company. Percival animated sequences based on various Beatles songs, including 'Twist & Shout', 'I'm Happy Just to Dance with You' and 'Tell Me Why'. When the TV series, broadcast on ABC in 1965-68, came to an end, George Dunning went on to direct the animated Beatles feature film Yellow Submarine (1968). Percival was one of 200 animators who put the whole movie together in only eleven months.

Percival's later animation credits include The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1979), directed by Bill Melendez, the TV series Willo the Wisp (1981) for Nicholas Spargo's Cartoon Films Ltd., episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (1983) and Muzzy in Gondoland (1986).

Percival, who lived in Pinkney's Green, Maidenhead, met Elizabeth (Bettina) Hansford, a key background artist, at Moor Hall. They were married in 1949.

(* My thanks to Bob Egby for passing on the news. The Beatles pic is from this site, which has some additional information on the animated TV show.)

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