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Ann Sullivan, 'The Little Mermaid' animator, dies due to COVID-19 complications
Veteran animator Amm Sullivan, who worked on Disney classics such as "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King", has died from complications due to the coronavirus. She was 91.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sullivan's retirement community, the Woodland Hills-based campus of the Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF), confirmed the news of her death.
Sullivan is the third member of the industry retirement home to die as a result of COVID-19.
At MPTF, the animator was nicknamed "Giggles" by staff, with chaplain Dina Kuperstock saying in a statement, She had the best laugh of any person I've ever known. Ann didn't just laugh with a sound. When she giggled, her whole body would shake and light up with joy, and it was contagious for everyone in the room.
Originally from North Dakota's Fargo, Sullivan matriculated at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena the alma mater of Zack Snyder and Michael Bay, among other famous alums.
After graduation in the 1950s, she started working as a member of the animation paint lab at The Walt Disney Company.
Sullivan left her job to raise four children, but she re-entered the business in 1973, when she started at Filmnation and Hanna Barbera.
The animator later returned to Disney, landing credits on studio titles from the late-1980s to the mid-2000s. Sullivan worked in the paint lab on 1988's "Oliver & Company", 1989's "The Little Mermaid", 1991's "Rover Dangerfield" and 1992's "Cool World".
She painted for the 1990 short "The Prince and the Pauper"; 1994's "The Lion King"; 1995's "Pocahontas"; 1997's "Hercules"; 1999's "Tarzan" and "Fantasia 2000"; 2000's "The Emperor's New Groove"; and 2002's "Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet".
Sullivan also is credited for having worked as a cel painter on 1994's "The Pagemaster" and for performing additional caps and painting on 2004's "Home on the Range".
She is survived by four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.