Derek Lamb, animator, producer, teacher, administrator (born at County Kent, UK 20 June 1936; died at Poullsbo, Wa 5 Nov 2005). Derek Lamb was inspired by the films of Norman MCLAREN, and came to Canada to join the NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA (NFB) in 1959. He wrote and designed Jeff Hale's amusing The Great Toy Robbery in 1963 and scored a major success with I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, which he directed and wrote in 1964.
He left the NFB at the end of 1964 to return to London, Eng for a job with Hallas and Batchelor, the largest and most influential animation studio in Europe at the time. From 1966-70, he was one of the first to teach animation at Harvard University's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. In 1971 he moved to New York to form his own production company and worked extensively with PBS and the Children's Television Workshop.
In 1975, Derek Lamb accepted the position of director of the NFB's English animation department. There he was admired as an exceptional animation writer and as a director with a keen sense for comedy timing. He served as producer or executive producer on such lauded shorts as Ishu PATEL's Bead Game (1977; Oscar nomination for animated short), John WELDON and Eunice MACAULEY's Special Delivery (1978; Oscar for animated short), Eugene Fedorenko's Every Child (1979; GENIE AWARD and Oscar winner, and Lamb was also given writing credit) and Janet Perlman's The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin (1981; another Oscar nominee). As well as the Canadian Vignettes series, Lamb's work includes the very popular three-minute Log Driver's Waltz (1979), Weldon's Spinnolio (1977) and Real Inside (1984), Sheldon Cohen's The Sweater (1980; BAFTA for animated short) and Patel's Afterlife (1978; CANADIAN FILM AWARD for animated short). Lamb left the NFB in 1982.
He returned to teaching at Harvard from 1986-87, and again from 1990-91. Outside the confines of the NFB, Lamb is perhaps best known for the opening title sequence for the long-running PBS series, Mystery!, which he created with Fedorenko and Perlman (who was his wife and business partner), based on the style of celebrated graphic artist Edward Gorey. Lamb and Fedorenko collaborated on the animation sequences for Skyward, made for Expo '85 in Japan; it was the first stop-motion work produced for the IMAX System. Later Derek Lamb was the executive producer on the Emmy Award-winning children's series, Peep and the Big Wide World, made for Discovery Kids.