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'Grease' opening animator John David Wilson dead at 93

July 2, 2013 at 8:53 AM

BLACKPOOL, England, July 2 (UPI) -- John David Wilson, a British animator whose credits include "Grease" and "Lady & the Tramp," has died in Blackpool, England, his family said. He was 93.

The Hollywood Reporter said Monday the filmmaker died June 20 in a nursing home. The cause of his death was not specified.

The founder of Fine Arts Films made animated short films set to popular songs such as Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" and Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," which were seen on "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" in the 1970s, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said. He also worked on episodes of TV's "Mr. Magoo" and "The Flintstones" cartoons, and created the memorable animated opening for the movie musical "Grease."

Among the other films he contributed to were "Shinbone Alley," "The Thief of Bagdad," "Peter Pan" and David Lean's 1946 version of "Great Expectations."

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