For The Love Of Cartoon Animation
October 21, 2019 posted by Gene Deitch

“How To Live With A Neurotic Dog”

Here is a never-before published oddment. At the end of short movie cartoons in most movie theaters, shorts became relegated to animation festivals. As a last gasp at movie theater shorts, I developed a few adult oriented parodies. MUNRO won me an Oscar, THE GIANTS won many prizes, and one set I really had fun with were my 1963 fake “instruction’ film shorts, SELF-DEFENSE FOR COWARDS, HOW TO AVOID FRIENDSHIP, HOW TO WIN ON THE THRUWAY, and HOW TO LIVE WITH A NEUROTIC DOG. All of these shorts. have been seen many times, but very little production material has survived the many Prague studio location moves. Here is something that just turned up, my color planning thumbnails for the production of How To Live With a Neurotic Dog.

Click on these images to enlarge and see my color sketches for the film:


  • I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Out of curiosity, who is the narrator of this film?

    • The narrator of “Neurotic Dog,” and all of my “Self-Help”series parodies, was Arthur Treacher. I chose him to give him a chance to use his sardonic “butler”voice somewhat out of the box.

    • I was wondering who it was!

  • LOL I loved it,too..!

  • I love the newspapers: the headline “Disaster!” (:43 seconds in) and the ad for the book version of the film (5:52, in the upper right corner).

  • Great cartoon!

  • Is this possibly the first cartoon to depict pee?

  • Amazingly yesterday, just as I was enjoying that you (editor Jerry) attached my actual 1962 “Neurotic Dog” film to my posting of these recently discovered color thumbnails, FedEx was ringing our door bell. They brought me the first Academy Award screener of 2019, “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” obviously aimed at brain-beaten kids, who can giggle & gasp at a Niagra Falls deluge of elaborate sight gags.

    I saw that they worked in at warp-speed, some of the same gags I alluded to in my hopelessly out-gunned, tinny-tiny “Neurotic Dogs” film of 1962! Ahhh! If I had today’s tech then! …But would I need an hour-and-a-half of super real hair, texture, lighting and show-off BG realism, to beat the brains out of such a simple tale?

    • I’ve wondered the same thing. I don’t think that all those textures and lighting features add to the enjoyment of animation. I never watch a UPA cartoon thinking that 3D realism is missing! I think your 1962 cartoon is superior in entertainment values when compared to current 3D extravaganzas. Tom Terrific would have lost something if created with today’s expectations!

  • I’m also minded of Eric Gurney’s “How to Live With A Calculating Cat,” usually found next to “Neurotic Dog” on the “Humor” shelf.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen that one before, but I quite enjoyed it. I found the unusual choices of color and the simplistic backgrounds to be very effective, just enough there to get the idea across. I do think trying this today with modern CGI and ultra realistic detail would have detracted from it, it’s great as is.

    I do remember seeing Munro when I was young, and maybe once within the last few years. I need to see about watching that one again, I have good memories of it.

  • A first-rate and very satisfying cartoon!
    I think it was based on the book “How to Live with a Neurotic Dog” by Stephen Baker, first published by Frederick Muller Ltd in 1961. Unfortunately the clip lacks credits — I presume they were placed at the end of the film, where TV showings could cut them off, so as not to bore the kiddies! (an abominable practice presumably foisted on filmmakers by corporate management).

    • You are totally correct,Peter. I too am sad that Jerry left off the name credits. I hadn’t seen this film in so long, that it all seems fresh to me.I remember that the final coloring and BG paintings were by Miluše (“Milka”) Hluchaničová. a briliant colorist-painter.

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