Jimmy Murakami, one of the founding fathers of Irish animation, died Feb. 16 after a brief illness. He was 80. Murakami played a key role in developing Ireland’s animation industry and directed numerous award-winning shorts and features, including When the Wind Blows in 1986. Legendary animator, producer and director Arthur Rankin Jr., who delivered some of the most enduring and well-loved TV holiday specials of all time, has died at age 89. The acclaimed creator died Jan. 30 at his home in Bermuda, following an illness. Since the early 1960s, Rankin and his partner Jules Bass had created classic stop-motion animated specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and many other broadcast record-setting gems.