Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Michael Sporn | Animation director, 67

Animation director Michael Sporn, 67, best known for his adaptations of children's stories that were shown on HBO, PBS, and other networks, died Jan. 19 at a hospice-care facility in New York. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for nearly four years, said his wife, actress Heidi Stallings.

Mr. Sporn was nominated for an Oscar for best short film animation for his adaptation of the William Steig story Doctor De Soto (released in 1984), and nominated for a prime-time Emmy for his version of another Steig story, Abel's Island (1988).

"Michael had a great ability to change his style to fit in with those books," said Oscar-winning animation director John Canemaker. "But when he did his own films, it was with a very distinctive style."

Those included the sweet-natured The Hunting of the Snark (1989), adapted from a Lewis Carroll poem and narrated by James Earl Jones, and the hard-edged Champagne (1997), based on a true story and meant for young adults.

- L.A. Times
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