The NBA lost a basketball legend this week. Kobe Bryant, 41, was in a fatal helicopter crash yesterday morning in Calabasas, California. His daughter, Gianna, was also lost in the crash as well as seven other passengers.
As we honor and remember Kobe’s life and his accomplishments, we wanted to take a moment to appreciate his role in the animation industry. Bryant was the executive producer of the hand-drawn animated short, Dear Basketball, a farewell letter to basketball after a 20-season professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers.


The 5-minute and 22 second short won the Oscar and Annie for Best Animated Short in 2018. This made Bryant the first African-American filmmaker to win an Oscar in the animated short category. In the short Kobe says he will always be that kid with roll-up socks, garbage can in the corner, and ball in his hands. Rest in peace Kobe.

If you have not seen the short, you can check out the trailer at

“Dear Basketball” wins Oscar for Best Animated Short Film

Glen Keane who directed “Dear Basketball” wrote: Our hearts and prayers go out to Vanessa and her family. Kobe and Gianna were the most beautiful picture of a father’s love for his daughter. We were so honored to work with Kobe and even from time to time be surrounded by his wonderful family while making “Dear Basketball”.

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The Author

Lavalle Lee

Lavalle Lee

Lavalle has been making animated online cartoons since 2001 for his website In 2009 Lavalle started learning from Don Bluth in his hand-drawn animation classes, as well as attending his Masterclasses in Arizona. In 2011 he started this website after seeing most animation sites were about all types of animation, not any specific to classical hand drawn animation. Lavalle also is the host of the popular online series. "The Traditional Animation Show". Lavalle is currently working for Don Bluth Films as a Production Manager and helped champion Dragon's Lair: The Movie Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.

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