How Do You Doodle? In TV Guide for October 23-29, 1954, Walt announced that one of the first year episodes of his weekly TV show would be “How Do You Doodle?” in which doodles of the Disney artists would be set to music. Walt said, “The Disneyland show will be about 60 percent new stuff and 40 percent old. At that, some of the ‘old’ footage will be stuff the public has never seen. We’ll show, for example, an entire sequence from Snow White that never got into the final picture.” (That was Ward Kimball’s infamously cut at the next to the last minute Soup Eating scene with the Seven Dwarfs.)
Richard Williams on Live Action and Animation. From Los Angeles Times Calendar section June 22, 1998, Animation Director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit Richard Williams said, “When I met Bob (Zemeckis) in London, I told him that I hated combinations of animation and live action. They embarrass me. The cartoon cancels out the live action and the live action cancels out the cartoon, and you can’t believe in either one and he agreed with me.”
The Story of Klasky/Csupo. After working from 1970 to 1974 at the Pannonia Studio in Budapest, Hungary, Gabor Csupo and two other animators who were close friends decided it was time to escape to the West.
“We saw how far we could go in Hungary and it was not good enough. It was a choice we all made and I think it paid off,” said Csupo to Electronic Media magazine May 2, 1994.
In 1975, the three first went to Yugoslavia where they received a letter from a friend who had left Hungary for Sweden.
“We could not get visas for Western countries so we went to Yugoslavia and got the letter that told us a secret way to sneak through to Vienna, Austria,” said Csupo. “It suggested going to the border at a town called Split where there was a big tunnel to Austria. It took us three hours to cross in the dark with flashlights, but we were young and ready for anything.”
In Austria, it took the three animators about six months to finally reach Sweden, where their friend helped them get work. Then in 1978 Csupo met Arlene Klasky, a graphic designer while she was on vacation there. A year later, he moved to Los Angeles and married her.
In 1982, in the spare bedroom of their Hollywood apartment, they started the Klasky/Csupo animation company. The company got its big break in 1988 when James Brooks and his Gracie Films hired the company to produce the title sequence and animation for the one minute Simpsons cartoons for The Tracey Ullman Show. The company handled the animation for the first three seasons of The Simpsons and then went on to other projects like Rugrats and Duckman.
“It helps to a degree that we see design and art from a little bit of a different perspective,” said Csupo. “A different background and culture mixed in with the realization of what is Western culture and art is a lucky combination. When you look at Eastern Europe, it’s depressive, monotone, dark and surrealistic. But mix the two together, you realize you can be arty and communicate the happier side of things.”
Bakshi Speaks. Animator and director Ralph Bakshi in the November 1982 issue of American Premiere magazine talking about the recent release of his animated feature Hey Good Lookin’ said, “I’ve brought animation to everyone’s attention. I’ve made four very personal films. I’ve had screenings of my films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I’ve done, I think, four of the highest grossing animated pictures in the history of the business. It’s not a question of defeat when Fritz and Heavy Traffic have not stopped playing since the day they were released – everywhere in the world. Defeat? By no means. I just have to go on and challenge myself.”
Charles Schulz Speaks. From Woman’s Day magazine February 1968, cartoonist Charles Schulz talked about the latest Peanuts special, He’s Your Dog Charlie Brown (1968), “Good dialogue is important. Of course, there’s nothing worse than relying too much on funny lines. You have to have things that are pictorially funny as often as possible. But you have to choose exactly the right word, too. For instance, Snoopy’s Sopwith Camel. Using a word like Spad just wouldn’t be right. People still like things that are basically decent and clean and good – and funny.”
The Coyote Philosophy. Chuck Jones, interviewed in Business Screen magazine (Aug/Sept 1982) said, “When the coyote falls off a cliff, he appears not to be worried about being hurt but he is worried about being humiliated. So when he crosses his arms as he’s failing through the air, and looks at the audience angrily, it’s because he doesn’t want them to see him.”
The Sheep Dog and the Wolf. In the Wall Street Journal for May 16,1994, Disney executive Tom Schumacher during production of The Lion King (1994) said, “Jeffrey (Katzenberg) is the sheep dog and the wolf. He’s the sheep dog guarding us and the wolf hunting us. Howard Ashman was able to cajole and educate Jeffrey into what makes great musical theater.”
Soviet and US Animation Partnership. Soviet animation director Fyodor Khitruk told the Los Angeles Times November 17, 1987, “I’ve been delighted by the way audiences in America have received Russian films and vice-versa. Although we haven’t found a partner yet, we have proposals for two films that could be done by the U.S. and Soviet animators.
“The first would be a satirical look at the stereotypes we have of each others’ cultures. The second is tentatively entitled The Chronicles of One Planet. It would explore how life developed on Earth and how quickly it can be destroyed. We’re also interested in projects that would allow us access to some of the state-of-the-art American equipment. We don’t yet have the hardware or software to produce much computer animation.”
ASTROCOMICS. Casper, Richie Rich, Little Audrey, Hot Stuff, Baby Huey and others appeared in the very first giveaway comic book for an airline. Twenty-one issues of Astrocomics (1968-1979) featuring those Harvey characters were released to passengers as “your favorite comic book characters on American Airlines”. These were not original stories but reprints from Harvey Comics.