A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to lend financial support to the family of animator Mike Camarillo, who died unexpectedly on December 25. Organized by friend and colleague Teri Shikasho — a background/color artist who has worked on The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse and Adventure Time — the fundraiser is closing in on its $20,000 goal which will go to medical costs, housing for Camarillo’s wife Elisabeth and their two sons, and to “get Mike home to his beloved Hawaii.”
Camarillo began his L.A. animation career at the beginning of the 1990s, serving as a background clean up artist on more than 30 episodes of The Simpsons. He worked as an assistant animator and effects assistant on a range of projects for film and TV, including The Swan Princess, Quest for Camelot, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Rugrats and Bébé’s Kids. In the 21st century, he transitioned to prop design, adding crucial creative touches to stylized shows Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Sym-Bionic Titan.
Shikasho writes on the campaign page: “Mike Camarillo was truly one-of-a-kind. He was the sweetest, gentlest soul, belying that unmissable mohawk-sporting, tank top-wearing, warrior physique in cargo shorts and slippahs. He was goofy as hell, slipping in-and-out of pidgin to make any story extra funny.”
One colleague who left a message of remembrance on the page is writer/producer/director Lauren Faust (DC Super Hero Girls, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) who alongside her husband, series creator Craig McCracken, worked with Camarillo on Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends: “Craig and I are so deeply saddened to hear of Mike’s sudden passing,” Faust wrote. “Mike was kind, fun, talented and a true joy to work with.”
Donations to support Camarillo’s family can be made through https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-mike-get-back-home.