A prominent Canadian-British artist and animator, Richard Edmund Williams (born March 19, 1933) got his start training under veterans from The Golden Age of Animation such as Disney's Nine Old Men, as well as Warner Bros. animator Ken Harris and industry drifter Grim Natwick. Totally crazy about silky smooth, seamless animation.
He has done work on several projects, most famously Who Framed Roger Rabbit (for which he received both the Visual Effects Oscar and a Special Achievement Award for the animation direction of the film), Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure and his historical (and tragically failed) attempt to make "the greatest animated film" called The Thief and the Cobbler.
These days, Richard is now semi-retired, at least from the industry side of animation, although he still takes up personal animation projects and teaches animation via his acclaimed masterclasses.
He has also published an acclaimed book on animation, "The Animator's Survival Kit". It also exists as a live class and a 16 DVD set version of it which costs over $1,000; fortunately, an iPad app of it exists that condenses both for the much more affordable $35.
In 2015, he joined Twitter and, later, premiered Prologue, the first part of his top-secret independent project, I Hope I Live To Finish This, at Annecy.
No relation to Robin Williams, by the way, although he did present Richard with his Special Achievement Oscar for ''Roger Rabbit''.
Films he has been involved with include:
- The Little Island (1958)
- Love Me, Love Me, Love Me (1962)
- A Lecture on Man (1962)
- What's New Pussycat? (1965): contributed the animated sequences
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966): animated the Creative Closing Credits
- The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968): contributed the animated sequences
- A Christmas Carol (1971)
- Murder on the Orient Express (1974): contributed the montage prologue
- The Return of the Pink Panther (1975): contributed the animated sequences
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976): contributed the animated sequences as well as the Creative Closing Credits
- Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
- The Thief and the Cobbler (1993, 1995)
- Circus Drawings (1965-2010): A short film that Williams based on a series of drawings he made, twelve years after he drew them at a circus in 1953.
- "I Hope I Live To Finish This" (working title, TBA): A series of shorts intended to interlink into a feature film, in top-secret production since 1999. The first part, Prologue, was released in 2015.
Richard Williams and his works provide examples of:
- Author Existence Failure: As of this writing, not yet, but his most recent long-term project, titled I Hope I Live To Finish This, is being released as a series of shorts so that, should this trope come into play before its completion, he'll have something to show for it.
- Animation Bump: Compare The Little Island from 1958 to his newest film Prologue from 2015, just wow!
- Artistic Title: Williams did these for several films, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) and Murder on the Orient Express (1974). He also did two for The Pink Panther films, both of which are considered the best. Even his own film, Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure, had these, which he animated himself.
- Creator Killer: Richard's studio went under following the takeover and failure of Thief with Richard going into hiatus from directing to focus on teaching animation up until his return with Circus Drawings in 2010.
- Deranged Animation: Some... nah, ALL of his work is pretty surreal in one way or another.
- Doing It for the Art: 28 years making a movie. It's really quite humbling.
- Early Installment Weirdness: His earliest films were made before he was able to get firsthand education from veteran animators, so they feature heavy use of Limited Animation, and bear little resemblance to his future work.
- He Also Did:
- God Does Not Own This World: After Thief was taken away from him, Williams spent the next several years refusing to acknowledge the film or what became of it. There was even a story circulating on the web that Richard once broke down in tears after someone mentioned the movie by name at a panel, and afterwards began hiring security to escort anyone who does so out of the room. He's since opened up more about the film and even praised the Recobbled Cut for attempting to restore the movie to his initial vision; although he admits to not having watched all of it yet.
- One for the Money; One for the Art: Agreed to do Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure to get funding for his passion project The Thief and the Cobbler.
- Promoted Fanboy: Not only did he have the pleasure of learning all of his animation techniques from the top animators of The Golden Age of Animation, but managed to get several of them to work for him.
- Shown Their Work: In The Animator's Survival Kit, Williams discussed his vast knowledge of animation techniques from the Golden Age.
- The Twelve Principles of Animation: Knows these and a lot more.