Bob Godfrey, one of Britain's foremost animation directors of the last 50 years, passed away last week at the age of 91. Tony Collingwood, director of a number of animated classics of his own, pays tribute to Bob below.
THANK-YOU, BOB GODFREY
Bob Godfrey was, without a doubt, the best loved animation director of his generation. A bombastic, hilarious, shy, talented man who cared deeply about the animation industry and more importantly, about the people in it - all of whom are saddened by his passing.
He gave the world Roobarb & Custard, Noah & Nelly, Henry's Cat - as well as a collection of short films, including the Oscar Award winning short, Great. (He once told me that the only reason he voiced Henry's Cat himself was because it was cheaper than hiring an actor!)
However, I would argue that his greatest legacy must be the legions of animators and animation directors who have Bob to thank for their start in the business. So many of us passed through his thin three story studio in Neal Street in the 70's and 80's. I remember coming down from Liverpool Art College to work for him as a runner - my first paid job - and he allowed me to sleep under a light box in the studio for a month!
Throughout his career he consistently visited art colleges and attended festivals - always engaging with those starting out in the industry. We all fed off Bob's anarchy and enthusiasm - anything was possible!
So, on behalf of many generations of animators - I'd just like to say "thanks Bob!" for drawing us all into this wonderful crazy business - we'll miss you!