With much sadness, Rooster Teeth Productions announced that Monty Oum, creator of the phenomenally popular animated series RWBY, passed away on February 1. As explained by Rooster Teeth CEO Matt Hullum, Oum suffered an extreme allergic reaction during a simple routine medical procedure. He later fell into a coma and did not recover. He died surrounded by people who loved him very much. He was 33-years-old.
Like many fans, we were all heartbroken to hear of Oum’s passing. It was at RTX 2013 that OneOfUs made its first big debut to the public, and we will always be grateful to Rooster Teeth for that. Rooster Teeth asked their fans to express themselves creatively. We decided to do that in the form of an article, to bring attention to the enormous talent that was Monty Oum. Please take the time to see just how creative he was and what he contributed as an artist, animator, director, screen writer and voice actor.
Oum first entered the public eye with Haloid, a video mash-up of the Halo and Metroid franchises. Using assets from Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee and character models from Halo 2, Oum created an epic battle between Halo’s Master Chief and Metroid’s Samus Aran. The video spread like wildfire and soon caught the attention of Midway Games, who hired Oum as a combat designer. He would eventually go on to work for Namco Games as an animator for Afro Samurai, and was instrumental in the design of the game’s combat. While attending San Diego Comic-Con International, he met Rooster Teeth’s Burnie Burns and was eventually hired by Rooster Teeth as an animator and character choreographer.
Anyone who has been watching Rooster Teeth’s web series Red vs. Blue is well aware of Oum’s immense contributions to the show. How can anyone forget when Red Team’s Grif slammed into Agent Washington with that warthog? How about that time when Washington and the Meta were battling Agent Texas as an entire mountain of ice collapsed around them? The entire Freelancer Saga really showcased Oum’s fight choreography, providing tons of suitably action packed moments.
Eventually, he would develop and produce RWBY, an animated series set in the fantasy world of Remnant, where students are trained to battle monstrous creatures and terrorist organizations. The show’s four central protagonists, Ruby Rose (Lindsay Jones), Weiss Schnee (Kara Eberle), Blake Belladonna (Arryn Zech) and Yang Xiao Long (Barbra Dunkleman), train and bond with one another as they learn to become huntresses. Oum even voiced the character Lie Ren, an expert fighter proficient in gun kata. The show has won several awards, including Best Animated Series at the 2014 International Academy of Web Television.
Outside of his involvement with Rooster Teeth’s animated projects, Oum was featured in a number of live-action shorts and made appearances on the Rooster Teeth Podcast. One of our personal favorite videos is “Immersion: Fruit Ninja,” which involves Monty teaching Achievement Hunter’s Michael Jones and Gavin Free the ways of the ninja, and how to properly slice fruit when it’s being hurled at your face. Oum was always very proficient at lemon punching.
Monty Oum is survived by his wife Sheena, his father Mony, his brothers Woody, Sey, Chivy and Neat, and his sisters Thea and Theary, as well as his friends and the entire Rooster Teeth Community. OneOfUs thanks Mounty Oum for his amazing work and our thoughts are with his friends and family.
You can help Oum’s family by donating to this fundraiser.