Kelly Asbury, a longtime animator and director who had a hand in almost all of the biggest animated films of the last 30 years, has died at the age of 60.
His representative Nancy Newhouse Porter of Newhouse Porter Hubbard confirmed the news to Deadline on June 26.
“He was one of the most admired and beloved people in the industry. It’s heartbreaking for everyone,” she said.
Asbury, a Texan native, enrolled at California Institute of the Arts in 1980 and early in his career worked on the multinational ABC series the ‘Littles’ and 1985 feature ‘The Black Cauldron’.
He started working for Disney by the late ’80s on cartoon ..
He made his feature directing debut in 2002 with ‘Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’, which he co-helmed with Lorna Cook. The Dreamworks Animation film was nominated for an Academy Award.
Asbury followed it up with 2004’s ‘Shrek 2’, another Oscar nominated film. He also provided some of the extra voices in ‘Shrek 2’ and ‘Shrek the Third’.
His other animated directorials were ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’, the 2011 British-American feature, which spawned the 2018 spin-off ‘Sherlock Gnome ..