The “Spanish Walt Disney” Claudio Biern Boyd Passes Away

Claudio Biern Boyd, co-founder of animation studio BRB Internacional, as well as a writer, animator, distributor, and producer, has recently died at the age of 81 on Sunday October 16th. Biern is best known for creating animated shows such as Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds and The World of David the Ghome.

Biern was born in Palma de Malorca, Spain on November 21st, 1940. After earning his law degree and working in advertising, he founded BRB Internacional in 1972, starting it out as a sales distributor that licensed the Spanish rights to properties like The Pink Panther, Tom and Jerry, Pippi Longstocking, Maya and the Bee, and Vicky the Viking. In 1980, Boyd produced his first animated series called Ruy, the Little Cid. This would mark the first of many original animated series throughout his time at BRB Internacional. Thanks to his efforts to bring as much animation to the region as possible, he became considered as one of the fathers of Spanish and European animation, and eventually became known as the Spanish Walt Disney.

Ruy, the Little Cid, Episode 11 in English subtitles:

In 2021, Biern described what his childhood was like and what inspired him to create his own animated works later on: “I grew up in Spain, with no TV in my house. For Christmas and birthdays, my family would give me action adventure books by classic authors such as Emilio Salgari, Jules Verne and Alexandre Dumas. When I was 16, I fell in love with the film Around the World in 80 Days with David Niven and Shirley MacLaine. I was fascinated how they had brought the book to life within the constraints of the film.”

He revealed that once they set out to make their own cartoons, they teamed up with an established Japanese animation studio, non other than Nippon Animation. To prepare himself for this new venture, he went back to the books he grew up with as a child and thought about how to turn them into cartoons.

You can watch all 26 episodes of the original Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds series on BRB Internacional’s official Youtube Channel in their created Playlist here, in English language:

Biern went on to explain what led up to the creation of his widely beloved animated series Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds: “Our first project was Ruy, the Little Cid – based on the 11th-century Spanish hero. It was very successful, so I turned to Dumas’ Three Musketeers for my next inspiration. There was a lot of sword-fighting in the original story that we needed to soften for children, so we decided it would be more fun to use animals as the characters. I was living at the time with an American cocker spaniel called Sam, who was always wagging his tail. I thought: what could be better than a dog? So D’Artagnan, the fourth musteketeer, became Dogtanian. I bought two dog encyclopedias, placed them next to the Dumas book, and wrote the script. The main characters all became dogs, such as Dogtanian’s girlfriend Juliette, and the “Muskehounds” Arthos, Aramis and Porthos, and King Louis XIII, who was based on my dog Sam. The prime minister Cardinal Richelieu became an old fox, and we added some characters such as D’Artagnan’s sidekick Pip – a mouse. Milady, the devious spy, was a cat. I’ve never been fond of cats.”

Because of the huge success around the world, the next cartoon series became Around the World With Willy Fog, which also became a worldwide beloved series. This was followed by several other much loved animated series, including David the Gnome, The Untouchables of Elliot Mouse, and Fantaghiró.

You can watch all 26 episodes in English language through this playlist from BRB Internacional, of Around the World With Willy Fog:

Biern received more than 40 awards throughout his career, some of which includes the Cartoon Forum’s Tribute of Honor Award (2007), the President Macià Work Medal from the Generalitat de Catalunya (2011), the Biznaga de Oro at the Malaga Film Festival (2012), the Extraordinary Talent Award from the Spanish Television Academy (2017), and the Bronze Medal at the New York Int. Film and TV Festival for creating Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.

You can watch the entire 26 episode series of the original David, the Gnome, The Untouchables of Elliot Mouse, and Fantaghiró in English language on BRB Internacional’s Youtube channel’s playlists here:

He was once asked in a 2021 youtube interview what he believed makes a hero. Using Dogtanian as an example, he replied with, “It depends on the story. Dogtanian is a hero who doesn’t know he is a hero.”

As a producer of cartoons, nobody knows my face, unlike if I was a big Hollywood producer. But when I give my name to make a restaurant reservation, or buy an airline ticket, or even when I was talking to the distributors in England for the new animated Dogtanian film – everyone starts singing the Dogtanian theme song at me. The same happens in Portugal, in France, in Italy. It’s unbelievable.

Claudio Biern Boyd

Did you ever watch any of the cartoons created under Claudio Biern Boyd? Will you be checking out some of the shows? If you are curious to see the other playlists of shows from BRB Internacional, click here.

Source: Animation Magazine, Cartoon Brew, The Guardian, strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Sarah Leone
Sarah Leone
An independent artist who loves to mix things up between traditional and digital art. She has a love for all things anime, animation, and manga. Oh, and cats. Can't forget the cats.

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