Michael Sporn , an award-winning animation artist best known for his film adaptations of children’s books such “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” and “Goodnight Moon, ” died at age 67 on January 19 in New York City of pancreatic cancer.
After graduating from the New York Institute of Technology in 1967, Sporn enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During his five years of Navy service during the Vietnam War era Sporn was stationed on the Aleutian island of Adak where he worked as a Russian translator decoding communications.
In 1980, according to the obituary in The New York Times , he “set up Michael Sporn Animation, an independent studio in Manhattan. It soon became known for distinctive short films that were ostensibly intended for children but that spoke, often movingly, to adults as well.
“For more than two decades his studio made films based on well-known children’s books for HBO…. For many of these films Mr. Sporn would replicate the drawing style of a book’s illustrator while adding sound effects, voices, music and other creative elements.”