Shrek 2 director Kelly Asbury passes away
Kelly Asbury is known for his films Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Gnomeo & Juliet, and Smurfs: The Lost Village
Kelly Asbury, best known for directing Academy Award-nominated animation films Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Shrek 2 (2004), passed away at 40. The director died on Friday morning in Los Angeles following a long battle with abdominal cancer, reports Variety.
Kelly, who started his career at Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1983, directed five animated feature films during his career including Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek 2 (which he co-directed with Conrad Vernon), Gnomeo & Juliet, and Smurfs: The Lost Village. His final directorial effort was 2019's Ugly Dolls, for which he got stars like Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle MonAie, and Blake Shelton on board.
His other work includes credits on The Little Mermaid, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, The Prince of Egypt, Chicken Run, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Sherlock Gnomes.
The Texas native was also credited as a writer in the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast and worked as a story artist on Toy Story in 1995 and both Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in 2008.
Inside Out writer Ronnie del Carmen, who worked with Kelly on The Prince of Egypt, paid tribute to the animator on Facebook. He wrote: "So sorry to hear this today. Everyone loved Kelly, it's impossible to not be charmed by him or feed off of his positive energy. I will miss him dearly. Rest in Peace, dear friend."