‘Yellow Submarine’ animator and ‘Heavy Metal’ director Gerald Potterton has died

Gerald Potterton, one of the animators behind The Beatles Yellow Submarine and the director of Heavy Metal has died. He was 91 years old.

The death was confirmed by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in a statement to Pitchfork.

In a statement, Claude Joli-Coeur, NFB chair and government film commissioner, said: “Gerald came to Canada and the NFB to be part of a new wave of storytelling, one that was fresh and irreverent, and he brought great wit and creativity to every project. He was also a builder, helping to lay the foundation for today’s independent Canadian animation industry with Potterton Productions.”

Potterton was born in London and later moved to Canada in the 1950s to work with NFB animation.

He directed two Oscar-nomainted short films, My Financial Career and Christmas Cracker, plus two live-action comedies, The Ride and The Railrodder.

He famously worked on the animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine in London in the 1960s before returning to Canada to found Potterton Productions.

He also directed the cult Heavy Metal in 1981, which featured music from bands including Black Sabbath, Devo and more.

Paying tribute, The Beatles Story in Liverpool wrote: “We’re saddened to hear of the passing of animator, writer, director and producer Gerald Potterton.

“He worked on The Beatles animation ‘Yellow Submarine’ and is credited with the layout of the ‘Liverpool sequence’ on ‘Eleanor Rigby’. Rest in peace Gerald.”

You can see some more tributes to Potterton here:


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