Legendary animation master Olivier Jean-Marie passes away at 60

Olivier Jean-Marie

After a long battle with cancer, the French animator, director, and writer Olivier Jean-Marie passes away at the age of 60. The XILAM studio—and the entire world of French animation—owe a tremendous debt to this great director.

Jean-Marie who is best known for his works in various animated series and features at Xilam Studios including Oogy and the Cockroaches, Space Goofs, and Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure, was born on 19 November 1960 and died on Thursday, 13 May 2021 at 2 pm.

In his recent project with Xilam on the animated series Mr.Magoo, Marie offered a new take on the beloved UPA character. He also created the Xilam series, Zig & Sharko, which was one of his noted projects.

The animator started his career in the 1980s; he worked as a background artist on series such as Clementine’s Enchanted Journey and also worked as an animator on Robo Story.

From a background artist, Jean-Marie evolved as an animation director and supervisor for many French TV shows such as Spirou and Space Goofs.

The writer holds various credits for his storyboard works including The New Adventures of Lucky Luke, Space Goofs, Snow White: The Sequel, and Oggy and the Cockroaches.

Apart from being a writer and animator, Jean-Marie is also considered one of the best directors. He directed movies like Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure (2007) and Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie (2013), which were blockbusters. He also directed the Lucky Luke spinoff series Les Daltons.

Xilam CEO and executive producer Marc du Pontavice said, “Olivier was an animation master, a mentor, and a friend. His talent and vision have inspired so many artists, who will carry on his legacy. He will also live on through the characters he created, beloved by generations of kids who grew up with them.”

Official statement from Xilam Animation read: “It is with great sorrow today that the whole of XILAM studio resigns itself, after 25 years of companionship, to the fact that we will no longer have the opportunity to laugh at Olivier’s gags or bask in the warm light of his friendship. We offer our sincere condolences to his wife Agnes and his daughters Ianka and Julie.”

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