Igor Khait, an animation producer whose credits include Gnomeo & Juliet and the upcoming feature Sing, died Monday of pancreatic cancer at his Los Angeles home. He was 52.
After launching his career at Amblin Entertainment in 1989, Khait served as production manager on the toon features Bebe’s Kids (1992), Quest for Camelot (1998) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). His next gig was as associate producer on Disney’s Brother Bear, which earned an Oscar nom for Best Animated Feature. He also was a producer on Everybody’s Hero (2006), co-producer on 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet and story department co-producer on the 2014 hit The Lego Movie. Other credits include Disney’s short Leroy & Stitch, the CBS series Family Dog and Christmas special A Wish for Wings That Work, based on the Bloom County comic strip.
Until recently, Khait had been in Paris working as a co-producer on the upcoming Illumination Entertainment move Sing, featuring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly and Taron Egerton. It centers on a koala (McConaughey) whose once-bustling theater is on the skids and who comes up with a plan to revive it: by holding a singing contest that’s open to everyone and boasts a $100,000 prize. The competition draws the talented and not-as-talented of the animal kingdom. The film opens December 21 via Universal.
Khait is survived by his wife, Gayle; children Isabelle and Elias; and his mother, stepfather and sister.