Recognizing distinguished alumni from Oceanside High School
As a grade school student, Art Vitello developed his interest in the world of animation watching cartoons. A graduate of the Class of 1971, he started his career in the animation industry while still a sophomore at Oceanside High. When not attending classes and doing school assignments, he apprenticed by working for various Los Angeles studios doing freelance artwork for TV shows and commercials on evenings, weekends and during summer vacation. Upon graduation, Vitello moved to the Los Angeles area and continued his training, advancing to the position of animator. During the rest of the 1970s, he contributed to the films of, among others, directors Ralph Bakshi (“Wizards,” “Lord of the Rings”), Richard Williams (“Raggedy Ann and Andy”), and Friz Freleng (“Pink Panther,” “Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck”), eventually being promoted to director himself. During the 1980s and ‘90s, Vitello directed and/or produced a number of TV series, including “Spider-Man” for Marvel Productions, “Gummi Bears” for the Walt Disney Company, “Taz-Mania” and Steven Spielberg’s “Tiny Toons” for Warner Bros. (the latter earning him an Emmy Award) and “The Tick” for Fox Studios. In 1982, he worked as the key animator on Spielberg’s “Poltergeist,” creating the animation for the ghosts featured in the blockbuster film. More recently, he’s worked as a timing director for the Universal Studios’ TV shows “Curious George” and “Land Before Time”, while pursuing his interests in music, writing and painting.