Jean Perramon pulled over to the side of the 101 North at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, stepping out of his Ferrari momentarily to check its tire for a piece of metal he thought he may have run over.
From there, a chain of freak accidents ended in the 63-year-old Malibu resident and well-loved animation artist's tragic death.
California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang relayed the events to City News Service:
First, 67-year-old Thousand Oaks man James Pershing Flynn tried to change lanes in his Chevy van, about five miles north of Reyes Adobe Road in Thousand Oaks. That caused 37-year-old Montebello man Antonio Castillo to swerve his Lexus, crashing into the back of the van and veering straight into Perramon's Ferrari.Though his 37-year-old female passenger was not critically hurt, Perramon had opened his door and emerged partially from the driver's seat, putting him in harm's way at just the wrong moment.
He was then rushed to Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, where he died at about 5:10 p.m.
Perramon was most famous for his work as conceptual artist for "Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest," visual designer for "Jetsons: The Movie," animation director for "The Tigger Movie" and storyboard artist for 1987 Japanese-American animated series "Bionic Six." His full resume can be found on IMDB.
Here are the opening credits to "Bionic Six" -- a sharp example of the show's graphic edge, much of which can be attributed to Parramon:
Perramon had the honor of working alongside anime giant Osamu Dezaki ("Lupin III") for the "Bionic Six" series (Dezaki was the show's chief supervising director). The "Six" episodes were some of the first U.S. originals to re-imagine the Japanese anime aesthetic for a stateside audience, instead of just revamping shows from Japan ("Robotech," "Star Blazers," "Battle of the Planets").
Much more recently, Perramon co-founded animation company Pepper Films Inc., whose Los Angeles office is located on Melrose Avenue. His bio on the company's website reads:
Throughout his successful career, Perramon has consistently used digital technology and worked with talented digital artists and animators to create eyecatching, entertaining projects for clients such as Kellogg's on the Froot Loops campaign, Keebler, Mattel, Huggies and Gatorade and the opening title animation sequence for Disney's "The Tigger Movie."
Additionally, he worked at Duck Soup Studios as a director and designer for over 10 years on various award-winning spots such as FILA/Footlocker "Run Ball," Pop Tarts "Keep Away," McDonald's "Foxy," and the 7-Up "Spot" campaigns. Perramon was a concept art on "FernGully: The Last Rainforest."
Perramon began his career in Los Angeles as a Production Designer for Richard Williams Animation Studio. Prior to immigrating to Los Angeles, Perramon was based in Paris as an art director for the Oscar Mors et Varout ad agency where he worked exclusively on the L'Oreal account.
Update: A neighbor of Perramon's, British director Duncan Roy (featured in the Los Angeles Times for his Malibu mansion), writes on his personal blog that the passenger in the crushed Ferrari was Tonya Nicole Toma, 37, of Agoura Hills. Roy remembers that Perramon was always "running up and down that bloody Malibu mountain in his Ferrari."
Roy goes on to detail his neighbor's humble beginnings in the European art capitol of the world, and his eventual migration to Los Angeles:
An unwitting child prodigy, Jean began his career in the arts earning money drawing chalk pictures on the streets of Paris. His creative talents did not go unnoticed. After he completed art college he was hired as an art director by the important French advertising agency Oscar Mors et Varout. This would lead to his exclusively overseeing the world-wide advertising account for L'Oreal.
He moved to the USA to become a production Designer for Richard Williams Animation Studio. Consequently he became one of LA's premier digital director and designers working with artists and animators to create eyecatching, entertaining projects for clients such as Kellogg's on the Froot Loops campaign, Keebler, Mattel, Huggies and Gatorade and the opening title animation sequence for Disney's "The Tigger Movie."
And as for Perramon's more recent history -- Roy claims that the artist was "incredibly successful but mortally wounded by never discussed childhood events" and "his struggle to overcome addiction was legendary to anyone who knew him."
He is survived by his wife and mother, both of whom lived at his Rambla Pacifico residence, according to Roy.
"Jean was a prolific artist and director, creative and driven," writes Howley. "His energy level knew no bounds."
Did you know the artist, or appreciate his work? Share your thoughts below. Originally posted February 27 at 2:43 p.m.