French animator, director and writer Olivier Jean-Marie died at age 61, after a long battle with cancer. Jean-Marie was best known for writing and directing numerous animated series and features at Xilam Studios, including the popular and long-running Oggy and the Cockroaches, Space Goofs and the Annecy Cristal-nominated feature Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure. His most recent venture was the Xilam animated series Mr Magoo, which offered a new take on the beloved UPA character.
Jean-Marie began his animation career in the early 1980s, working as a background artist on projects such as Clementine’s Enchanted Journey and as an animator on Robo Story. He soon moved up to animation director and supervisor positions on popular French TV shows such as Spirou and Space Goofs. He was also a writer on the series Les Minikeums. His many other storyboard artist credits include The New Adventures of Lucky Luke, Space Goofs, Snow White: The Sequel and the hugely popular dialogue-free slapstick series Oggy and the Cockroaches (both Gaumont and Xilam produced the show) which chronicled the adventures of a housecat tormented by three annoying cockroaches. Xilam and Netflix are working on a new CG-animated version of the long-running series.
Jean-Marie transitioned easily from series animation to features with the movie Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure (2007) and Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie (2013), which he wrote and directed. He also directed the Lucky Luke spinoff series Les Daltons. The prolific artist also created the Xilam series, Zig & Sharko, which followed the madcap adventures of a brown hyena and a great white shark who live on a volcanic island.