Larry Latham (April 15, 1953 – November 2, 2014) was an American animator, artist, producer and director. He was perhaps best known as a producer and director on Disney's animated series TaleSpin, the pilot episode of which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.
Latham worked on several other Disney productions as a storyboard artist or designer, including Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp. He was also a producer, director and storyboard artist on Disney's Bonkers.
Latham also directed storyboards on numerous Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including Super Friends, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, and The Smurfs. For Marvel Productions, he was storyboard director on My Little Pony 'n Friends and Spider-Man.
In 1996, Latham received a nomination for a Daytime Emmy Award for his work as a storyboard artist on The Tick.
More recently, Latham worked on several direct-to-video features for Universal Cartoon Studios. Among these were An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island and An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster, both of which he produced and directed.
In 2008, Latham began writing, drawing and publishing a webcomic called Lovecraft is Missing, a project inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft and originally conceived by Latham as an animated series. He released the first pages on October 1, 2008, and kept the comic going until his death from cancer on November 2, 2014
The retconning of Fievel Goes West
When Latham began working on the infamous third installment, he believed it was a decision to have the second installment dismissed with a "dream" reference by upper management. He even wrote this on the movie's talk page on Wikipedia in December 1, 2009 (11 years after the making):
- I (Larry Latham) directed and produced the two dvd sequels, and it was a decision of upper management to dismiss Feivel Goes West with the dream reference. The picture had not done as well as expected, and it was felt that it took the series in the wrong direction. There were hopes that these sequels would do well enough to continue on for some time, ala The Land Before Time sequels. Didn't happen, so people are free to construct any mythology they want about the actual order of the films.
Retconning the event from Fievel Goes West in the third movie became one of the most difficult experience in An American Tail history, as no further information about the movie was given out from the film makers ever since. Unlike the previous media, concepts from the preproduction of the third film have rarely ever linked on the Internet. However, things changed for him and the crew when started working on The Mystery of the Night Monster, as characters and elements from the third installment are forbidden from the forthcoming finale.