Diane Jackson


Born Dianne Hillier 28 July 1941, she attended Twickenham County Grammar School, and went on to study at Twickenham Art School. She married Michael Jackson in 1963 - the marriage was dissolved in 1971.

Unable to establish herself as an illustrator, she joined TV Cartoons in 1967, where she provided backgrounds and animation on a couple of episodes of the TV series The Beatles, going on to work as assistant animator on the Yellow Submarine feature. Encouraged by George Dunning, she went on to animate on commercials and shorts.

In 1975 she married David Norton, and they subsequently had a son and a daughter.

In the Seventies she joined producer Lee Stork and animators Alison de Vere and Chris Randall in a unit making commercials for Wyatt-Cattaneo.

Alison de Vere wanted to concentrate on personal films rather than commercials and the unit eventually broke up, Dianne returning to direct commercials at TVC.

Producer John Coates was keen for TVC to take advantage of the newly-formed Channel Four's remit to support animation, and proposed an adaptation of Raymond Briggs' picture book The Snowman. Because her storyboard contributions demonstrated her ability to expand on Briggs' vision, Dianne was promoted to Director, under Jimmy Murakami's supervision. She also animated on the snowmen's party sequence.

The success of The Snowman set Dianne on a career of films based on the illustrative style of children's books: storyboarding and animating on When the Wind Blows, from the Raymond Briggs book (Hilda's dream is her creation) and directing and storyboarding Granpa from the book by John Burningham, before storyboarding and directing 6 epsodes of the Beatrix Potter series The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends.

She returned to Raymond Briggs with Father Christmas which she storyboarded, and was directing until illness intervened.

She died of cancer, at home with her family on New Year's Eve 1992. Her last project was an unfinished storyboard for Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit.


The Beatles(TVC 1967) Animator (2 episodes); Backgrounds (2 episodes)
Yellow Submarine(TVC 1968) Assistant Animator
various commercials for TVC(1968-1975) Animator, Storyboard, Director
Moon Rock(TVC 1070) Animator
I Had a Hippopotamus(DHP 1072) Assistant Animator
various commercials for Wyatt-Cattaneo(1976-78) Animator, Storyboard, Director
Carousel (TVC 1981)Animator
The Snowman(TVC 1982) Storyboard, Animator, Director
When the Wind Blows(TVC 1980) Storyboard, Animator
Granpa(TVC 1989) Storyboard, Director
Father Christmas(TVC 1991) Storyboard, Director
The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends(1992-4) Storyboard, Director (6 episodes)

Links to Other Sites

Independent Newspaper: Obituary by Paul Madden.

Dianne Jackson: Entry at the Internet Movie Database.

Back to top of page

Peter Hale
Last updated 2015