Jimmy T. Murakami

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Jimmy Murakami
Jimmy Murakami in 1970
Teruaki Murakami

(1933-06-05)June 5, 1933
DiedFebruary 16, 2014(2014-02-16) (aged 80)
Dublin, Ireland
  • Animator
  • designer
  • artist
  • director
Known forFounder of Fred Wolf Films Dublin
SpouseEthna Murakami

Teruaki "Jimmy" Murakami (村上輝明, Murakami Teruaki, June 5, 1933 – February 16, 2014) was an American animator and film director with a long career working in numerous countries. Among his best-known works are the animated adaptations of the Raymond Briggs books When the Wind Blows and The Snowman. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for The Magic Pear Tree (1968).

Early life and education[edit]

On June 5, 1933, Murakami was born in San Jose, California.[1] At age 9, following the signing of Executive Order 9066, Murakami was interned with his Japanese-American family at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center, a concentration camp in northern California.[1][2] After the end of World War II, Murakami and his family settled in Los Angeles, California.[1]

Murakami attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.[1]


In 1955, Murakami was an animator at UPA in Burbank. Murakami worked on the Boing Boing Show.[1][3]

Following a short stint with Toei Animation in Tokyo, Murakami joined TVC in London in 1960. He returned to Los Angeles in 1965, and established Murakami Wolf Productions. Murakami then moved to Ireland in 1971 and established Quarteru Films.[3]

Murakami formed Murakami-Wolf Films with Fred Wolf.[4] He also directed the music video for "King of the Mountain", the single from Kate Bush's album Aerial. In 1989, with his former partner Fred Wolf, he established Murakami Wolf Dublin to produce the hit animation series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.[3]

He also worked on 3 films for Roger Corman in the 70s-80s, including directing Battle Beyond The Stars, as well as Les pêcheurs de perles for Pascavision in 1993.

Murakami was the subject of a 2010 feature documentary film made by Irish director Sé Merry Doyle and produced by Martina Durac and Vanessa Gildea of Loopline Films called Jimmy Murakami - Non Alien which premiered in Dublin at the 2010 IFI Stranger than Fiction Film Festival.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Murakami died at the age of 80 on February 16, 2014, in Dublin, Ireland. He was survived by his wife, Ethna and their two daughters.[6][1]


Year Title Art /
Animation department
Director Producer Writer Notes
1957 Trees and Jamaica Daddy Yes Designer
Short (segment "Jamaica Daddy")
1958 Sailing and Village Band Yes Designer
Short (segment "Village Band")
1959 Picnics Are Fun and Dino's Serenade Yes Designer
Short (segment "Dino's Serenade")
1001 Arabian Nights Yes Layout artist (uncredited)
Theatrical film
The Violinist Yes Animator
1961 The Insects[7] Yes Yes Yes
1964 The Top Yes Yes Story
1965 Charley Yes TV movie
1967 George... the People Yes Yes Animator
The Box Yes Short
Breath Yes Yes Yes Story Animator and designer
1968 The Magic Pear Tree Yes Story Short
Oscar nomination
1969 The Good Friend Yes Yes
1971 The Point Yes Theatrical film, uncredited
Von Richthofen and Brown Yes Associate Art director & Second unit director (uncredited)
Theatrical film
1972 Clerow Wilson and the Miracle of P.S. 14 Yes Animator
TV Movie
1973 The Naked Ape Yes Animator
Theatrical film
1974 The Mad Magazine TV Special Yes TV movie
Free to Be... You & Me Yes Animator and graphic designer
TV Movie
1975 Passing Yes Short
1979 Death of a Bullet Yes
1980 Humanoids from the Deep Yes Uncredited
Theatrical film
Battle Beyond the Stars Yes Theatrical film
1981 Heavy Metal Yes Yes Animator
Theatrical film (segment "Soft Landing")
1982 The Snowman Supervising TV Short
1986 When the Wind Blows Yes Music video by David Bowie
When the Wind Blows Yes Yes Special sequence animator (segment ''Military Command Sequence'')
Storyboard artist
Theatrical film
1988 The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe Yes Animation director
Mini-Series, 2 episodes
1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Yes TV series, 6 episodes
1990 Dream Express Yes Yes Short
1992 Urbanus: Het lustige kapoentje Yes Yes Yes Storyboard artist
1993 Opéra imaginaire Yes TV movie (segment "Pêcheurs de perles")
1995-1997 The Story Keepers Supervising TV series, 13 episodes
1998 Oi! Get Off Our Train Yes TV Short
The Bear Yes Storyboard consultant
2001 Christmas Carol: The Movie Yes Yes Storyboard artist
Theatrical film
2005 King of the Mountain Yes Music video by Kate Bush
2008 Sandpiper Yes Short
2010 Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien Yes Animator & voice appearance
Camera crew from Von Richthofen & Brown, 1970. Peter Peckowski and Peter Allwork in cockpit. Jimmy Murakami, Shay Corcoran, Lynn Garrison


  1. ^ a b c d e f Amidi, Amid (February 16, 2014). ""When the Wind Blows" Director Jimmy Murakami, RIP". cartoonbrew.com. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  2. ^ Osmond, Andrew (December 19, 2001). "Animation World Magazine: Jimmy Murakami's Five Decades of Animation".
  3. ^ a b c "Animation Pioneer Jimmy Murakami Dies at 80", Rafu Shimpo, February 24, 2014
  4. ^ Dyess, Phil (February 19, 2014). "R.I.P. Jimmy Murakami, animator of When The Wind Blows and The Snowman · Newswire · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  5. ^ IFI, page (August 12, 2010). "Jimmy Murakami - Non Alien". Archived from the original on April 5, 2010.
  6. ^ Williamson, Marcus (April 29, 2014). "Obituaries: Jimmy Murakami: Director best known for his adaptations of two Raymond Briggs books, 'The Snowman' and 'Where the Wind Blows'". independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "Reflections of Jimmy T. Murakami - Insects". Archived from the original on October 22, 2008.

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