Saturday, September 9, 2006


The website Cartoon Brew had this announcement from J.J. Sedelmaier:

I just wanted to let you and others know that Jan Svochak passed away yesterday afternoon. He was 80 years old. Most people know Jan's work from the years he put in on the Hawaiian Punch campaign. He was the head animator from the 60's up to the early 90's. His hand also steered the design consistency.

Jan Svochak was born in Czechoslovakia, moved to the U.S. in the 30's and then returned to Europe to fight in WWII (he was in the tank corps that liberated Dachau).

After the war, he worked at Famous Studios in NYC and assisted Marty Taras on series like Baby Huey, Little Audrey, and Herman & Katnip. He also freelanced for Pelican Films, Byron Rabbitt, Zanders, Perpetual Motion Pictures, Buzzco, Ink Tank, Jumbo, and here at JJSP.

While at Perpetual Motion Pictures, Jan, Candy Kugel, (i think Vinnie Caffarelli) and Russel Calabrese did the "Mr. Hipp" series of cartoons for NBC's Saturday evening "Weekend" program in the early 1970's, a precursor to SNL. He, his wife Cheryl and their two sons had recently moved to Florida. He'll be terribly missed. . .

This was followed by a remembrance by Buzz Potemkin:
"Mr. Hipp" grew out of a joke from Reuven Frank at NBC News. He was brought to life by Hal Silvermintz’s design and direction – and also by Jan’s ready identification with the character. For nearly 5 years, and 26 or so shorts, Jan breathed life into the character – true animation (“bringing to life”).

Hal and I may have written them (with help from Reuven), and David Morris, Vinnie Caf, or others may have had input, but I always knew that Jan would straighten it out and make it work for "Mr. Hipp".

According to the, Mr. Svochak also worked on the following projects:

Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City (1981) (TV) (animator)
The Mad Magazine TV Special (1974) (TV) (animator)


1 comment:

Dave Morris said...

Thanks for this - I had the pleasure of working with Jan at Perpetual Motion back in those wonderful days in New York. Little did I know my travels would lead me to Jan's homeland. A very special man and very special artist.