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Eli Noyes, the animator who turned clay and sand into art, dies at 81

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Eliot Fette Noyes Jr. was born October 18, 1942 in Alexandria, Virginia, and raised in New Canaan, Connecticut. his father was a prominent industrial designer and architect whose designs included the IBM Selectric typewriter And round fuel pumps for Mobil. His mother, Mary (Weed) Noyesknown as Molly, was an architect and interior designer.

Mr. Noyes earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard in 1964. He then enrolled in the college’s graduate architecture program, but left after a year. “I think he realized that following in his father’s footsteps was an irresistible idea,” his wife said in an interview.

He briefly moved to California before settling in New York to begin his career in the film industry. While working on his animated films, he also produced educational programs for children and directed several documentaries with Claudia Weill, including “This Is the Home of Mrs. Levant Graham” (1970), about a poor black family in Washington.

“As Noyes and Miss Weill understand, his warm, cheerful, unkempt and incredibly overcrowded apartment is a kind of crowded movie-making paradise,” Roger Greenspun wrote in the Times. “A lot of things happen on camera, and they know how to let them happen, and so, for them, a world comes to life. »

In 1991, Mr. Noyes and his family moved to San Francisco, where he worked on animation projects at Pixar and the Disney Channel and later served as creative director of the Oxygen Network. In 2003, he founded a production company, Alligator Planet, with Ralph Guggenheim, one of the producers of “Toy Story” (1995).

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