Gerald Potterton
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Gerald Potterton

Gerald Potterton
Gerald Potterton in 2016 - 02.jpg
Potterton in 2016
Born (1931-03-08) 8 March 1931 (age 88)
London, England
OccupationDirector, producer, animator
Years active1965-present
AwardsSee text.

Gerald Potterton (born 8 March 1931) is a British-Canadian director, producer and animator. He is best known for directing the cult classic Heavy Metal and his animation work on Yellow Submarine.

Potterton has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film: as director on the National Film Board of Canada animated shorts My Financial Career and Christmas Cracker, and as producer for The Selfish Giant.

Personal life

Born in London, Potterton attended the Hammersmith Art School.[1] He emigrated from England to live in Canada in 1955.

Potterton currently lives in Cowansville, Quebec, Canada, where he is still involved in the production of live and animated motion pictures. Inspired by Quebec's pastoral Eastern Townships, he continues to paint landscapes and aviation subjects.[2]

Professional career

After working as an assistant animator in London, Potterton joined the NFB in 1954 where he directed both animated and live-action films. He collaborated with Harold Pinter on Pinter's People in 1969 and Buster Keaton on The Railrodder in 1965.[3]

After contributing to George Dunning's animated feature Yellow Submarine in 1968, he returned to freelance work in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

During the early 1970s, among other projects, he directed live-action and animated sequences for Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

In 1981 he was hired by producer Ivan Reitman to direct the animated feature Heavy Metal. Potterton coordinated more than one thousand artists, animators and technicians from seventeen countries working in Los Angeles, New York, London, Montreal and Ottawa.

During the 1980s and 1990s, he continued making animated and live-action features for television and video.[4]

Potterton Productions

Established in 1968, this production company produced both live-action and animated films. Apart from Potterton's own projects, this company produced Peter Sander's The Selfish Giant and Larry Kent's Fleur Bleue in 1971, Mike Mills' The Happy Prince in 1974, The Little Mermaid in 1975, and in 1975 The Christmas Messenger. The company was closed in 1974.

Recent works

Potterton recently directed Sandy Wilson's musical The Boy Friend at Theatre Lac Brome,[5] and created and directed Peter Piper and the Plane People. Also, through Potterton Studios, he is writing A Stage Too Far.


Production Year Details
Huff and Puff 1955 co-writer, co-animator with Grant Munro
Fish Spoilage Control 1956 animator
It's a Crime 1957 animator
Hors d'oeuvre 1960 co-director, co-animator with Arthur Lipsett, Derek Lamb, Kaj Pindal et al.
Life and Radiation 1960 co-animator with Kenneth Horn, Pierre L'Amare
My Financial Career 1962 director, co-animator with Grant Munro
Christmas Cracker 1963 co-director with Norman McLaren, Grant Munro, Jeff Hale
The Ride 1963 director; actor
Buster Keaton Rides Again 1965 appears as himself
The Railrodder, a.k.a. The Railroader 1965 director; writer; co-editor with Jo Kirkpatrick
Cool McCool 1966 director
The Quiet Racket 1966 director
Yellow Submarine 1968 animator
Pinter's People 1969 director
Tiki Tiki 1971 co-director with Rolan Bykov, Jack Stokes; writer; producer
The Selfish Giant 1971 producer
The Rainbow Boys, a.k.a. The Rainbow Gang 1973 director; writer
The Happy Prince 1974 producer
The Little Mermaid 1975 executive producer
The Christmas Messenger 1975 producer
Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure 1977 animator; associate and sequence director
Canada Vignettes: Winter - Dressing Up 1979 director; writer
Canada Vignettes: Winter - Starting the Car 1979 director; writer
Heavy Metal 1981 director
The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones 1983 director; animator
Rubik the Amazing Cube 1983 story director
George and the Christmas Star 1985 director; writer; producer
Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow 1987 appears as himself
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1987 animation director
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1987 animation director; title design
- The Marvelous Land of Oz 1987 animation director; title design
- Ozma of Oz 1987 animation director; title design
- The Emerald City of Oz 1987 animation director; title design
The Smoggies 1988 director; writer; creator
The Real Story of I'm a Little Teapot 1990 director
The Real Story of Baa Baa Black Sheep 1991 director; art director
Young Robin Hood 1991 director; writer
The Real Story of Happy Birthday to You 1992 director; writer; lyricist (The Girlie Wants a Song / The Birthday Contest Medley)

Other works

Potterton illustrated the 1977 children's book, Scouse the Mouse, by Donald Pleasence. He also wrote The Star, and George, published by Harper & Row, 1968.

Awards and honours

From 1970 to 1971 Potterton served as vice-president of l'Association Internationale des films d'animation (ASIFA) He is currently a distinguished member of the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA).[6]

At the 12th Annual Cartoons on the Bay International Festival of Television Animation in Salerno, Italy, in April 2008, Potterton received the Pulcinella Lifetime Achievement Award.[7]

In September 2002 he received The Buster Award at The Buster Keaton Celebration.

Other awards include:

Award Result Year Production Remarks
Academy Award nomination 1962 My Financial Career
Academy Award nomination 1962 Christmas Cracker
Berlin International Film Festival won 1965 The Railrodder honourable mention for best short film
Golden Gate Award won - best animated short 1964 Christmas Cracker San Francisco International Film Festival (shared with Jeff Hale, Norman McLaren, Grant Munro

See also


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Robert Knopf, The Theater and Cinema of Buster Keaton, Princeton University Press 1999, p.135, ISBN 0-691-00442-0, ISBN 978-0-691-00442-6
  4. ^ "The Film Reference Library". Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Campbell: Biography of Gerald Potterton.pdf[permanent dead link]
  7. ^[permanent dead link]

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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