Toon Musician Holaday Has Passed Away
William Kent "Kenny" Holaday, a musician and artist for feature and television animation for the past 20 years, died on June 22 at his Shadow Hills ranch of complications brought on by a thyroid condition. He was 49 year old. He started his animation career in 1975 as clean-up artist for Hanna-Barbera, and in 1980 moved to Disney Feature Animation in the same capacity. At Disney, he served as a clean-up artist or assistant animator on such feature films as PETE'S DRAGON, THE FOX AND THE HOUND, THE LION KING and TARZAN. "Not many people knew both music and animation the way Kenny did," said John Musker, co-director of THE LITTLE MERMAID. "He was a unique guy, who made unique contributions to the films he worked on. The way he timed out the music on 'Under the Sea' for Dave Spafford, who animated it, had a kind of lightness and bounce to it that I think only Kenny could have given it. And whenever I watch the scene in THE LION KING where the characters play the Hawaiian music and dance the hula - I think of him. He played the ukulele on that song, and timed it, and it carries a piece of him with it. It has this kind of loopy, silly cheeriness to it that is quintessentially Kenny." Eric Goldberg, who directed two segments of FANTASIA/2000, said, "Kent's true calling was the reading of tracks for music. The way he read the music tracks for 'Carnival of the Animals' and 'Rhapsody in Blue' for FANTASIA/2000 was sheer genius. Because he was a musician, he was able to explain to me why the music worked the way it worked. His contribution to the film was absolutely invaluable. He lived for great sync between music and movement. It was his art, his passion, his calling. He was generous with his time, and truly passionate about what he did. I loved working with him." Holaday's TV credits include THE SIMPSONS, RUGRATS, DARIA and KING OF THE HILL. Kent Holaday is survived by his wife, Jan; his brother, Brett; sister, Carmen; parents George and Treva; and his grandmother, Elsie. A memorial celebration for Kents friends and acquaintances was held on July 7 at the ranch of animator Mike Cedeno.