After graduating in 1984, he moved to Los Angeles and joined Filmation, where he worked on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, and the characteristic Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night. âThe actual animation was not of very high quality due to a number of factors,â Tucker later said of this period, âand I had to draw more scantily clad superheroes than I never would have dreamed of it, but it got me in the door.
His stint at Filmation took him straight to his job at Disney, where he worked as a breakdown host and intermediary on The little Mermaid. From there, Tucker went on TV. In the early 1990s, he rebounded from a variety of series including The Ren & Stimpy show, Duckman, 2 stupid dogs, and The simpsons, before settling permanently at Nickelodeon – the studio with which he would become most closely associated.
Tucker worked as a model maker on Rugrats (which he also boarded), and when Hi Arnold! launched in 1996, he was promoted to storyboard director and later supervising director. He got his only feature film director credit in 2002 Hey Arnold! : The film.
He later supervised the storyboard director for dozens of episodes of Sponge Bob SquarePants (writing six of them), and a screenwriter on the years 2004 Spongebob Squarepants The Movie. In 2011, he was one of the recipients of an Annie Award for Best Music in a Television Production on Sponge Bob SquarePants.
On several of these shows, Tucker benefited from a new tendency to let the storyboard crew do the writing. As he said Animation review in 2015, “The advantage of letting the animators be the driving force behind the show is that you put art at the center of the show, and a lot of times something spectacular happens.”
Other credits include family guy and its derivative function Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Comedy Central’s Close together, Nickelodeon My godfathers are magic, and Klasky Csupo Duckman. Most recently he was working as a storyboard revisionist on the upcoming Bob’s burgers characteristic.
In an Instagram post, Hi Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett paid tribute to his colleague:
A great friend, a master draftsman, a tireless prankster, a brilliant storyteller, the first one I reached out to when I started Hi Arnold! because he was the best guy on board I have ever met. I will always remember him at his drawing board, his arms blackened up to the elbows with graphite, gum chips everywhere, bringing my characters to life. A work ethic that kills, passionately inside. I am so lucky to have been able to work with him for so many years. He gave and gave. I already miss him, my heart is broken. Stay in power, Tuck Tucker.
Others have taken to social media to share their memories of the artist. Many tributes have come from Tucker’s alumni at Longwood University in Virginia, where he began teaching graphic and animation design in 2015.
This drawing is taken from the episode “A Friendly Game”. In early 2010. He was then a storyboard director, which meant he was responsible for overseeing other board artists, rarely working directly on the boards himself. But for some reason, this episode captured his imagination.
– SÃ©verin Piehl (@sevpiehl) December 24, 2020
he was such an endearing guy who pushed me to follow my dreams as a designer. I remember being in school most of the day and breaking my ass to get a job in the industry after school; I had expected Tuck to be the first person I would tell. (2 /?)
– âï¸ rachel âï¸ (@balloonpuppy) December 23, 2020
– I wouldn’t be where I am today without his advice. I can’t get over the fact that I won’t be able to chat with him on the phone anymore. Remember to tell the important people in your life how much they mean to you. One day it may be too late. Thanks for everything, Tuck.
– Nick Lauer (@nicklauerart) December 23, 2020