Fredrick George Reinert Jr.
September 13, 1925 – November 5, 2018
Fredrick G. Reinert, Jr. a.k.a. Rick Reinert, 93, formerly of Westlake Village, CA, passed away peacefully on November 5, 2018 at home in Annandale, VA with his family by his side. Considered one of the most talented and imaginative artist/animators of his time, Rick was born September 14, 1925 in Cleveland, OH one of three sons to Fred and Anita Reinert. He attended Parma Schaaff High School and Ohio State University before embarking on a lifelong career in art. Rick first moved to the Los Angeles area at age 19, where he worked with Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera on the original Tom & Jerry cartoon series. Following a 3-year stint in the U.S. Army, Rick landed the position of art director for Storer Broadcasting in Cleveland, where he worked from 1948-1960. During this time, he met and married the love of his life, Carole Geiss. They happily celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this past August! At Storer, he learned the ropes of producing and directing for TV, but his love of animation kept tugging, so in 1960 he started his own animation firm, Rick Reinert Productions (RRP). He grew this company for 19 years, culminating in its acquisition by Penton Publishing Company in Cleveland, then the largest industry publisher in the country. Penton moved RRP to Burbank, CA where it grew to 75 employees and thrived until Rick’s retirement in 1987. Not content with being idle, Rick then formed Rick Reinert Pictures in Westlake Village, where he added book illustration and gallery work to his animation portfolio. Rick animated a long list of famous characters from Tom & Jerry, Charlie Brown, and Cap’n O.G. Readmore to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Winnie the Pooh, but his true calling was character creation, background painting, and “putting it all together” as producer/director. Although he drew and painted in all mediums, he loved animation because it felt like bringing something alive and likened animated film directing to conducting an orchestra or opera. He produced a prolific body of work that included theatrical feature films (Mrs. Doubtfire, Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore), numerous TV specials, commercials, illustrated children’s books, magazine covers, and gallery artwork. He was a member of the Academies for Motion Picture and Television Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute, and past president of the International Animated Film Society. He was honored by the Animation Guild with a lifetime achievement award. Rick loved spending time with his family, playing golf, sailing his boat around Westlake, and traveling the world. He is survived by his wife, Carole, son Tod (Liz) of Annandale, VA, daughter Dianne of Avon, OH, and grandchildren, Corinne and Madeline Reinert. Rick gave so much throughout a life well-lived. We will miss him dearly. A Celebration of Life service will be held in Cleveland, OH at a date to be determined.