Jafar’s Song. From the New York Times November 8, 1992: The soundtrack of Jafar’s song “Why Me?”, a campy and dramatic exploration of the character’s past failures, was running with scenes only roughly amimated almost derailed Disney’s animated feature Aladdin (1992).
“My problem,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg “is that you literally stop the movie to say ‘O.K. we’re going to do a song.” Over the next four months the question of Jafar’s song became a major concern.
“Why Me?” was Alan Menken and Tim Rice’s second attempt to write a song for this particular scene. The first song that they had written for Jafar entitled “Humiliate the Boy” hadn’t worked either. Over the next month, new lyrics for “Why Me?” were offered and discarded. The scene was tried in front of an audience without music. “It worked great,” said animation president Peter Schneider after the screening, “except you sort of miss a song there.”
Joe Barbera. In the Collector’s Advantage magazine for Winter 1992, animation producer Joe Barbera said, “ There’s a strong demand for the classic cartoon characters, together with a demand to meet the people who created them. In Berlin, where we premiered a Tom and Jerry feature, the reception was gigantic – 3,000 people giving a standing ovation. Just because they love Tom and Jerry, and all the other stuff we’ve done. So I keep doing these trips and I find out what they would like to see. Someone recently asked, ‘Why can’t we see more Magilla Gorilla?’ I can give you more Magilla Gorilla. Another one asked about Jonny Quest. They keep asking for these cartoon characters so what I’m doing right now is developing material based on those characters.”
The Simpsons. In the October 10-23, 2016 issue of TV Guide magazine The Simpsons show runner Al Jean said, “Jim Brooks has always been adamant that we take all points of view and never talk down to anybody. The idea that a Republican candidate for president would talk about the size of his penis during a televsion debate is beyond anything we would have come up with in the writers’ room.”
June Foray Meets Jay Ward. In an interview with June Foray by Shel Dorf in Comics Buyer’s Guide #323 (January 25, 1980), she said:
“I was very well established doing voices for animation in 1958. My agent called and said, ‘Have you ever heard of a guy named Jay Ward?’ and I said I had never heard of him in my life. ‘I haven’t either,’ said my agent. ‘He has an idea for a show and he wants to hire you. But he wants to do a demo to sell the show and he wants to take you to lunch.’ So Jay Ward called me and we went to lunch at Tail of the Cock on La Cienega Boulevard. I’m not used to drinking heavily and especially at noon.
“Well, before lunch, he said, ‘Oh, have a martini’. So we had a martini and then we had two martinis. By this time I was absolutely smashed and I said, ‘Jay, anything you want is fine with me’. He was such a charming guy and the ideas sounded neat. So Paul Frees, Bill Scott and I went into the smallest little recording studio at Capitol Records and we did a demo.
“We didn’t hear from Jay Ward for about a year and it absolutely was obliterated from my mind. I was so busy working I didn’t even think of Jay Ward. And then, about a year later, my agent called and said, ‘You know this fellow Jay Ward for whom you did a demo? Well, they’re ready to go on the series. We’re going to be at Glen Glenn (recording studio) Friday night at five o’clock.’
The Wisdom of Chuck Jones. In the New York Times August 9, 1992, animator and director Chuck Jones said, “You can’t write down to children which we wouldn’t have done at Warners even if we had known how. We didn’t know who we were making (the cartoons) for so we more or less made them to amuse ouselves. In that sense, they were absolutely made for adults who were watching them in theaters with films like I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang and Little Caesar. The quality of today’s animation constitutes a terrible disservice to children. If a child is raised to believe that evil is always big and ugly and good is always small and cute, then what do they as adults do with The Hunchback of Notre Dame or with The Elephant Man?”
What Killed Kricfalusi’s Beany and Cecil? In the Los Angeles Times Calendar section for August 9, 1992 animator Bob Camp recalled one of the reasons that Kricfalusi’s version of an animated Beany and Cecil television series (The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil, 1998) was cancelled suddenly after just five episodes aired. Basically, Kricfalusi and his crew, that included Camp, tried to slip in things that hadn’t been previously approved by ABC.
At the end of one episode, Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent was singing and Beany boy came floating by in a big washtub. Cecil leaned down and sniffed real hard, and Beany shot up his nose. Then Cecil turns and blows Beany’s clothes out and they float down the river.
“I was standing in the editing room when the ABC people saw (that scene) for the first time,” said Camp. “Nobody expected it, including me. That was wonderful to see the looks on the faces of the ABC executives when they saw it. They screamed and their eyes bugged out. ‘What is that? What was that? That’s not in the storyboard!’”
In case you missed it, here’s a sample of the show: