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Yoram Gross is a pioneer of animation in Australia – and a creative fountain. He has boundless energy and limitless humour, a combo which helped him survive and succeed; now he’s written it all down in his memoir.

“Sometimes I behaved foolishly, and sometimes like a complete idiot. Sometimes I behaved like Tarzan. Other occasions were more suited to a James Bond story,” writes Yoram Gross in his memoir My Animated Life (Brandl & Schelsinger, 280pp, rrp $29.95, April 2011)

Echoes of Gross’s life are portrayed in his unique characters, especially the lively koala, Blinky Bill. Blinky’s home was destroyed, he lost his father and he embarked on a search for his mother, just as Gross did in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. 

"cheeky, brave and ready for adventures"

Sandra Gross, Yoram’s wife, business partner and creative collaborator, says that there isn’t a film he has made that doesn’t contain elements of his life. “Blinky Bill is very cheeky, brave and ready for adventures – certainly Yoram’s character is as well.”

Acclaimed author Thomas Keneally says of the book: “Sometimes one is, however stupidly, tempted to think that every extraordinary Holocaust story has been told. The truth is that the last tale will not even have been written when the last survivor has passed from the earth. For the Holocaust generated an infinite variety of tortures and personal crises. Yoram Gross’ short, vivid book has its own force – it combines all the brio of youth with all the unjust and knife-edge perils of being a young Jewish man hiding out and on the run. Gross’ later life, prefigured in his World War II experience, is another testimony to the wealth of talent that the Third Reich obliterated, the talent which in most cases was stolen out of the world, but which in his case, managed to survive.”

The impish Keneally can’t help but inject his sense of humour with a pun to close his endorsement of the memoir: “You will be engrossed by this book.” 

"outstanding achievements and contribution to the Australian film industry"

Yoram Gross has produced and directed over a dozen full-length features and international television series. He is best known for creating Blinky Bill and Dot and the Kangaroo. In 1968 Yoram Gross, his wife Sandra and their young son Guy migrated to Australia. They established Yoram Gross Film Studios. In 1995 he was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia for his outstanding achievements and contribution to the Australian film industry.

Published April 14, 2011

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