REINERT, FREDERICK "RICK" (14 Sep. 1925 – 5 Nov. 2018) was one of the most talented and imaginative artists/animators of his time. Born Frederick George Reinert, Jr. in Parma, he was one of three sons of Fred and Anita Reinert. Reinert’s father was a long-time member of the PLAIN DEALER editorial art department and himself a master of caricature.

Reinert attended Parma Schaaf High School. He began his art career working in the cartoon department at MGM in 1945. In 1947 he was drafted and served at The Army Photo Center Animation Department in New York. In the 1950s, he was art director for WJW-TV in Cleveland, doing sales films and titling. 

He opened his Cleveland-based animation studio, Rick Reinert Productions, in 1960. The company produced animation for hundreds of TV commercials and films for Cleveland-based GENERAL PICTURES CORP. and other sponsored film studios. General Pictures Corp merged with CINECRAFT PRODUCTIONS in 1971. While still in Cleveland, Reinert produced the animated special, The Dipsy Doodle Show (1974) and the opening credits for ABC’s After School Special and Weekend Special. In 1979 he moved his company to Burbank, California, where it grew to 75 employees. 

Reinert animated a long list of famous cartoon characters from Tom & Jerry, and Charlie Brown, to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Winnie the Pooh. Still, his true calling was character creation, background painting, and "putting it all together" as producer/director. He produced and directed animated shorts for Disney, including Food Is Fun: A Nutrition Adventure (1980), Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons (1981), and Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983). 

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) credits Reinert with background animation work on Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) as well. Reinert’s work is being digitized and posted online by the Hagley Library ( as part of a project to preserve the works of Cinecraft, “the country's longest-standing corporate film and video production house.”

He also worked with the Library of Congress’ “Read More About It” program, creating short ads to promote reading, and he made five animated films for the program, including Capt’n O.G. Readmore’s Jack in the Beanstalk (1985).

Reinert produced other specials such as The Bollo Caper (1985) and The Kingdom Chums: Original Top 10 (1990). In the early 1990s, he produced specials based on Precious Moments figurines, like Timmy's Gift: A Precious Moments Christmas (1991). In 1997 he served as an animation supervisor on a half-hour Peanuts special, It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown. 

He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Film Institute and past president of the International Film Society. The Animation Guild (formerly Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists), awarded the Golden Award to Reinert in 2005.

Reinert married Carole Geiss in 1952; they had a son, Todd, and daughter, Dianne. Reinert died in Annandale, VA, on November 6, 2018. He was 93 years old. 


Jim Culley


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