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Animation Part One

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Hi everybody we want to thank our sponsor legion. 'em They are a wonderful company. We love working with them. You can go to their website. Legion. 'em They're also on all the various socials they do really fun meet ups You can talk to directors you can become a part of the projects they choose the even. Have a program right now where you can help them find great movies to support so go to their website to learn more. We also want to remind you that we have a patriotic that we call multi on. You can join us. We have three dollars five dollars ten dollars. Twenty dollar options. You can get newsletters from my dad All kinds of neat stuff behind the scenes. Hang out with us. Learn about who our guests are before anybody else and listened to the podcast before anybody else go patriot dot com slash. Multan on movies for more information. That's Patriot dot com slash Maltin on movies. Hi everybody I'm Leonard Maltin Jesse Maltin. You're listening to Maltin on movies and if you have youtube on your watching. Maltin on movies. That's right to mountains on the movies. The movies intimated movies today animated animation in general something that obviously is always played a big role in our lives and certainly in your career as been animation and whether it's because people Read your book which many I have to tell you that. One of the coolest things in the world to me is that your some of your books are used in school because I feel like that. There's no greater accomplishment really than writing something that people feel is so valuable that it's what students need to read. While I'm grateful the book I wrote of Mice and magic a history of American animated cartoon. My mother came up with the title. Everyone remember at all times. My mother came up with the title. If you don't say that she will murder you in the night go on well. It's a good title. It's a great title of a Nineteen Fifties Cartoon that's she was typing up the manuscript. Yes and when she saw that title he said this would work. I said your right. Which is why we're still married. Your right and I've never regretted it. It's a wonderful title. That book is now forty years old. It's crazy stupefying older than I am. That's right and the only reason it is still in print is because it gets adopted by high school and college courses on the history of animation. And I'm very grateful for that and this past year it was published in Russia which is so wild. We got a friend of yours. I guess sent us a copy of it and I never knew what Maltin looked like in cyrillic letters but here we are incredibly cool we do. Have we have a movie guide? We've a couple of your books translated into different languages which I enjoy immensely but yeah so so as I say. Animation is such a big part of our lives. It's such a big part of your life and so I just thought it would be fun to talk about it and why has always been what it is to you. We also got to talk to your PAL Mark Evans and Jerry. Beck to folks. Who really they keep so much alive and like you are dedicated to this art form. And they've got great stories to share so we're started doing multi-part All things animation starting with US starting with us. That's right well my timing in life well. It was very good period. I grew up at a perfect time to be an old movie buff because I was born in December nineteen fifty so I grew up in the first television generation Five years earlier I wouldn't have started out on TV. I would have been listening to radio but when I was about three or four I guess we we must have gotten our first TV set and I remember. It was a console box like set and it had a little slats in the side for the speakers which had fabric covered in fabric and it looked like slots in and Piggy Bank. I used to put coins in there from time to time which I don't think help. The operation of the television set anyway. The television in New York was seven channels. A lot of cities only had three for most. We had seven channels and they needed something to fill up all that airtime so the local stations not the networks but the local. Tv stations bought packages of old cartoons. And I mean even silent era cartoons with music tracks on them so I grew up watching the whole spectrum of American animation. Cherry tunes founded by Paul Terry Warner Brothers. Cartoons of vintage era Ab- I works cartoons. The Van Buren cartoons or obscure studio. But I saw them all and and of course they ran out of new materials so they kept repeating it. So when you watch something as you're accustomed to doing your generation by replaying it yes over and over. Tv was replaying it for me. And that's why it all stuck with me. And something in me fostered a curiosity to know about them to know something about them about why these names were starting to look familiar. Who was of I works? Why did Felix the cat show up suddenly in color them for those of you not watching? My Dad has a gigantic Felix head pillow and it is perched behind me right now. You can prove that you can go Plus Walt Disney went on the air in nineteen fifty four with his weekly. Tv show originally called Disneyland because it was intended to promote the upcoming Opening of his theme park and he also launched the Mickey Mouse Club so I became Disney fide. Pretty on Soaked being exposed to all of this was was crucial. Crucial to my my young life One of the things Walt Disney did was he took us behind. The scenes showed US. How animation was was created And and went into his own history explained The significance of steamboat Willie and the use of a soundtrack for the first time or the introduction of color we didn't have color TV then but the introduction of color and flowers and trees. So I started to learn things like this and that Snow White and the seven dwarfs was his first feature length cartoon and I went to my local library in Teaneck New Jersey and there was one book one book that I could turn to to read about all of this. This call the art of animation by Bob Thomas The Walt Disney studio and it turns out. This book was actually meant as a promotional item for the upcoming release of sleeping beauty in nineteen fifty nine so it does cover like a general history of animation and it's beautifully illustrated and it has ID's for all sorts of people at the studio their you know their pictures and illustrations And then it becomes you know exclusively Disney Disney centric. But it's very clear. It's beautiful yeah. It's beautiful book. Lots of our stuff. Lots of illustrations from sleeping beauty but also general illustrations. What sound stages what What sketches are storyboards concept? Art The multi plane camera animation drawings sequence by sequence. And if you've never seen a multi plane camera take a moment and look it up online. Look up there. I'm sure they're videos on YouTube Take a moment and check it out because it's genuinely it's mind-blowing They have one in Right by the Disney archives here I in Burbank and as a kid when I would walk by it. It just looks like some sort of a science experiment which. I guess in a sense. It is true but it's huge. I mean how I don't know team for fifteen feet tall fifteen feet and and to see that regardless of age you know it blew my mind as a kid but I'm sure you had quite the reaction to it as well And of course having it be the Disney Lot was also pretty neat so anyway the Nice thing about this book is very clear. It doesn't talk down to two childhood childish readers childlike readers. It's just very clearly stated and and it has a lot of illustrations that show the of the key members of the staff. And here's a picture of Clarence Nash. Who's the voice original Voice of Donald Duck with Florence Gill who was Clara cluck and many many years later not that many actually I met and became friendly with Bob? Thomas who wrote many many wonderful books on Hollywood history and he eventually updated this about twenty years later and I think I had signed that copy but not this one and So this is very important book to me but it's also a really good book. I mean if you have if you have anyone of any age was interested in a primer beginning. Beginner's guide to animation you. You could do a lot worse than to start with this sure. Even though as I say it is Disney centric but it It talks about Gertie. The dinosaur and Windsor McKay's pioneering film and how it influenced a whole generation thing for me. I I often waxed poetic about books. But I'm always sort of mesmerized by the fact that so. How old is this book? When did you get this book? Well I read it. I guess when I was eight or nine years old I was eight years old in Nineteen fifty-nine sleeping beauty came out right so I think it would have been around that time. When do you got this It was not an inexpensive book. I don't I don't know when I had enough money to buy one. He had the copyright on his nineteen fifty-eight what what blows my mind. Truly is that books. Don't age yes physically. Sometimes the pages will start to go yellow and the spine will start to get worn. But there's something Part of to to me. What makes books this magical entity is that anybody can pick one of these up. And they don't know that it was published in nineteen fifty eight. All they see is an explanation. What is this person do? What does that person do you? Oh my God. There's the voice of Donald Duck. There's the voice Clara one of the greatest names ever Clara cluck. But I don't know it. Just hold them. I just feel that it brings me joy yes books premier joy and satisfaction and they transport me at the same time that Walt Disney was doing what he was doing. Every week in the late fifties along came the woody woodpecker show which was a syndicated half hour show hosted by Creator. Walter Lantz and I think this book Lance Easy Way to draw. Oh it's the authorized the authorized addition the wonderful cover. It is woody drawing himself on the Drawing Board Walter. Lances show every week did a behind the scenes segment that in many ways was more instructional than Walt Disney's because he he just took one aspect of animation. Every week I remember the episode about exposure sheets. And how I they recorded the dialogue and then the animator would take a look at this exposure sheet to see when the first haw come out of woody's voice and that's that's where you want to have the beak beginning to open and then he followed the pencil line down to where it was fully open and again very clear and very good so I think this will cost like four ninety nine the end papers as great multiple woody's and to go out of sequence for papers that is not a term. I knew and papers now. Nine thousand nine hundred seventy seven. New York City the Okram of the Plaza Hotel. I got to meet Walter Lance and I have him sign. Let me hold that. I've seen cover your face. That's very delicate in careful. But he signed the book to me which I'd had all those years to Leonard with best wishes Walter Lantz and woody woodpecker June nineteenth one thousand nine hundred seventy seven. He was in town for a tribute at the Museum of Modern Art. I was working at Moma. I Love I love the little. Woody's most lines. Gosh and there's a good picture of Walter. The Joint Board on the back Walter. Lantz I believe was one of the people who was drawn no no pun. Who was turned on to animation by seeing Windsor McKay's Gertie the dinosaur in nineteen fourteen? Let's talk about Gertie for sure because it's not it's one of those things were not everyone will know who? Gertie is Mike Goal. When I told my dad I wanted to do several episodes about animation is. I want it to be something. Where if you know everything you enjoy listening to this and if you know nothing you learn so some thing like Gertie to an animation buff or even just someone who started to get into it. That may not be news. But if you don't know Gertie the dinosaur is was. The creation of the man regarded as America's foremost newspaper cartoonist. Winsor mccay and wisdom mccay Drew Stove. He started coming to prominence. I think at the turn of the twentieth century in the early nineteen hundreds and he did the most extraordinary full page cartoons dreams of a rare but fiend and Little Nemo in slumber land and they're reprints of these things in giant sized books because newspapers in those days were enormous. I mean look at the La Times in the New York Times and the Washington Post. They're not nearly as big as broad as wide as deep as papers. Ordinarily worth thinks outrage out the menu size at a Deli and that's give or take how big newspapers were. Mckay was a superb draughtsman and was an incredibly vivid imagination. And He's worth looking up and you can find examples of his work online very easily both his drawings and his early animation. He got intrigued with animation. Now who who who made the first animated film doesn't Really Matter Yeah. A Frenchman named Emil. Coal Co H. L. was is one of the people credited with that Humorous phases of funny faces. They're Jay Stewart blackston their other early experimenters. One of them used chalk on a chalkboard and buy a racing and changing and moving camera forward. A couple of frames things come to life. Windsor mccague made a couple of animated films as experiments. Kind of an indulgence. He was very well paid. He was very popular newspaper cartoonist. But in one thousand nine hundred fourteen he developed a Vaudeville Act using animation. He would wear a ringmaster's costume and stand on the side of stage and command. Gertie to come on screen and it was like a multi media event. Suddenly on the giant screen would come this enormous dinosaur with WHO can only be described as cute adorable adorable. A very appealing character is Gertie and Mckay meant this to be a presentation. Not just a film but a presentation. Ultimately he filmed an introduction Survey wraparound introduction as we call it today so that it could stand on its own as as a ten minute film and That's what you may see. If you find a copy of Gertie the dinosaur online he imbued the character drawn with a very fine line ink with personality and it didn't just move it had a personality or she personality and that's what knocked people out they'd seen movement before but they hadn't seen something like this. This was magic. This was capturing lightning in a bottle Walt Disney even recreated the presentation on episode of his Disneyland Show and he had his The head of Music Department Oliver Wallace Dress up as somebody would fourteen to recreate. Gertie 'cause wall like everybody else knew at all really started there But people in the newspaper game who were present when he first presented Gertie said. I WANNA do that too. And they included Max Fleischer and I think Walter Lantz if I'm not mistaken Paul Terry. The influence of that cartoon cannot be overstated. And the and it's still as charming. Today's it remains. It's one of those that when you watch it there. Certain things that require an introduction and there's certain things we have to say now this is what we have with this and this and this is what this represented and Blah Blah Blah but Gertie is just cute and fun it actually. I always feel like she looks like the animated versions of the Loch Ness Monster feel like they look quite similar. Every time you see a dirty looks quite a bit like Nessie But yeah it's it's just a delight it is and you understand. I think anybody would understand and certainly again if somebody was trying to get into animation even now seeing something as simple as Gertie and seeing the power that just pen and ink drawings can can have that. There is that potential. That possibility is is really awesome. I don't use very much but in this case it's true it's produces aw vastly it is also Max Fleischer and his brother. Dave had an idea that tried to leapfrog over what Windsor McKay had done so painstakingly. They took a a a motion picture camera. Dave put on a clown suit and Max shot footage of him tumbling falling down in getting up gyrating around in this clown suit. And then they invented a device called the wroto scope. It's a. It's a word that still using the visual effects the field and they traced every frame so what they got from. Doing that was very natural flow of motion. It was not somebody imitating movement. It was somebody recreating movement with pen and ink and again now. People are very familiar with this a lot of people. You'll see this is so so hell I mean when Groot Group dancing you know people have a lot of people have now seen the videos of James. Gunn dancing around in that becoming that same. Andy Circus you know. Then the idea of taking something actual movement and mimicking it that closely so when the Fleischer brothers brought this to Jr Bray was running a young animation studio in New York He said well. This is great Can you give me one a month? And they said no forever his took an you know ages and ages to do and he said well what what you've done is is really good but unless you can do it on a schedule. It's useless so he did contract with them and they started their out of the inkwell series featuring Koko the clown with a K. Koko the clown and they didn't do all of it with wrote a scope. They used freehand drawings for some and wrote scoping for a certain scenes. What they wanted to the effect to be very lifelike and on that basis they became a success. And that's lost the Fleischer's and who later went onto the betty boop cartoons and Popeye and they invented the bouncing ball of your favorite things in the world and the world bouncing ball So So that was. That was the next step by the way they got. They got a patent for the road. A scope which I sent away the US Patent Office and got a copy of It's you know it was a device that no one had ever thought of before they later patent it a wrote a graph which allowed them to use existing moving film. I'M GONNA get this wrong. They WANNA step further. Anyhow the wrote was it was a big a big deal funny twenty years later when Walt Disney was working on Snow White and the seven dwarfs. They hired a a talented teenager. Dancer named Marge Marjorie. Belcher later became very famous onto her married name. March champion a wonderful dancer and she danced for them as Snow White. They wanted to see not only her body movement but the swirl of her skirt and so that they could reproduce that for Snow White and they found that when they traced her exactly. It didn't look right on screen They were better off just using that footage for reference Which is what they did all all the years afterwards. Yeah again and again films and you'll find photos and videos that they still they still have Of Different people. And that savvy got into in the same way that you'll see You'll see someone bringing a lion into a room and that's how they're figuring out how to draw the lion so as an artist would would have a model you know for life drawing class The Disney folks found that having live models for the animation was very very useful and they would do a rudimentary sets so that if she was going to a well and leaning over they would have you know just something air so that it they. The movement looked authentic. Yeah so the result of all that was the animation. Business became a business. And you know who mourned that Windsor. Mckay I have a quote in my book. I forget where I found it. But he in the nineteen twenties. He attended a dinner. I think in his honor from the new and this is all New York City. By the way winsor mccay. The newspaper world was based in New York and the early animation world was entirely in New York until the twenties and of he said these guys. You've made it a business. I wanted it to be an art and And you know it's it was the truth but they had a compromise. They had a compromise in order to make a practical reality to be able to make films distributor could get into theaters and people could see and those films from the twenties wound up a lot of them on television. My my childhood so I was introduced to quite a lot of this and With that only that one book the art of animation to go with my guide and eventually and I mean eventually as the years passed I wrote a book. Because it's the book I wanted to have. Its the book I wanted to read. And be able to consult and I wound up teaching a course in the history of animation at the new school for Social Research. Social Research Fuel for Social Research always get stuck in my in New York City New York City. I started teaching at nine hundred seventy three and a year after I got out of college and I taught us weekly class for nine years and over the course of that time I kind of became a magnet for all the lost boys in the New York area who were who are all animation buffs and some of them were aspiring animators. But there's nowhere to see this stuff on a regular basis and a lot of it had drifted away from television by that time Tv TV had moved on to newer cartoons. There were still a lot being shown but not the way they were back in the fifties so I made a lifelong friend there. Jerry Beck and Jerry who has written numerous books and runs cartoon research dot com great great website and is now currently teaching animation courses and no less than three three institutions here in L. A. Because he subbing for Charles Solomon at UCLA. He's been teaching a cal arts for a while and he's awesome teaching Woodbury College. I love it so I love it Jerry and I just hit it off. And he wound up doing all the work for the filmography in that book of my magic and tagging along near him was a guy named. Wilfred Wall who is now an esteemed author and jazz expert and he collaborated with Jerry on a book on the Warner Brothers cartoons and Tom Seato who president was president of the cartoonists guild. The Union Thapa a S. I F. A. but also guilt. Yeah am Has Been Teaching at USC for longtime now up authored several books including a very good book on computer animation. Ed Capital came to that class on a number of occasions who wound up co running pixar animator and Dan Haskett other people in the in the field. Who actually did you know wind up doing this for with? Yes you know you found each other and you were saying to me that if it weren't for that class you don't know that you would have written this book. The act of teaching and having to organize my thoughts as well as my research enabled me to write the book because if I had sat down one day you know from point zero and said okay. Now I'm going to write a book. And what do I think about how this developed and you know why the personality that studio was distinctive from this other studio? I don't know if I could have done it. But the the again timing. My timing was great. I mean I met Walter Lantz for crying out loud Walter Lantz Came to New York and I was fortunate to meet him there but then I did a long interview with him by phone and my phone. Bill started going up because as I started getting connections in numbers I spent a lot of time talking to and then eventually meeting Chuck Jones for his freeling Chuck. Who I I should tell you. Looks so much like Sylvester even to me he just he looks like Sylvester in the best way. I guess a little bugs to but just his face. He's always looked like this. This sort of Sassy cat but my first trip out hit my second trip out here. I got to meet Ward Kimball. Award was one of a kind and later frank. Thomas and Ollie Johnston and others at Disney people from so many different studios so many different backgrounds. There's a lovely man named Al Ucs Ter- whenever became a star animator but he was a good animator and his first job was blacking in Felix. The cat up to feel studio in New York City like that was in. The twenties wasn't the twenties. I talked quite a lot to shameless. Colleen was real name was James. Call later adopted the Irish variation shameless and Shaimaa also started I think with Fleischer and wound up at Disney for a while and then moved back to New York a lot of the migrated from studio studio and I got to talk to them. And you know how you know. How lucky am I too had that experience? Had I started five years earlier I would have gotten even more people but I. I really did touch a lot of giants. Yeah Yeah Yeah you and I are both words like legend and icon and things like that. We do try to tend to try to stay away from them in but then there are some people were that that is what they were and that is what they represented and the the nine old men again a term if you are a Disney especially You'll know the nine old men It's a great thing to look up these guys worthy the heavies heavyweights and Walt. Disney relied on them heavily. Have but it's those men in the fact that they were still even. When I was younger that they were still around. Many of them are still around. And you talk to them It's just an what what you all share. Collectively is a youthfulness a childlike quality. I've heard many of the wives bitching about it and I'm getting a half kidding Nobody's minutes true. Well most ord wonderful Ward Kimball. And Ollie. Johnston married young women who were in the paint department. And I love. I love that You know and I got. I went to interview them. Yeah it's know there's so many different routes you can follow to trace this history and And then I met Bill Hanna. And Joe Barbera Yup who who goose the MGM Cartoon Studio Into New Life in the nineteen forties and won Seven Academy. Awards doing their brilliant. Tom and Jerry series. It's getting to see the films was very challenging at that moment I rented a lot of print sixteen millimeter prints from my class. But I out that. The the rental companies didn't know one cartoon from another and they they didn't pick it up and they didn't think it mattered card. I would rent. You have had to rent a real of three. Yeah and I wanted the second one they replace it with another one no. I didn't watch just another cartoon. I wanted this specific cartoon beer. I can't it's it's Nutty and you've got more show and tell in recent years not when I was a kid I did get hold of this. Is Betty boop movie cartoon lessons how to make movie cartoons by Max Fleischer and it's it's really wonderful it's got it is wonderful illustration. It's also I think it serves you when you start to understand who created what so Fleischer is that's a very distinct style and once you recognize. Fleischer you will always recognize flight. Unless someone is imitating in a similar vein. You know whether it's Al Hirschfeld or or whoever it is you know they have certain styles. People have adopted them. But there's only one in you know you know when you're looking at it you really do and I can joyful funny. I think grumpy has to be one of our favorite characters unsung grumpy. Yes we for for a couple years Betty boop an I show those cartoons for my class at USC and they always always play. I do I love. I love grantee. I think he is one of my as funny as I talked to. Some of the Fleischer veterans and. They didn't think much what they were doing in the thirties. Because they were working in New York and midtown Manhattan and whenever the Newest Disney release would come and play on on Broadway on Times Square. They would go to the theater and see it. Come away dejected. Because they they felt what they were doing was. Just you know a little pip squeak of annoys and Disney was doing you know giant orchestra at that time but that's what made them different. Yes was that distinction that they had that they they didn't value. Yeah well that's when you will listen to the episode You will if not would like to listen to the episode with Mark Avenir He worked for Hanna Barbera so he has a lot of stories of being there and one of the names that came up. That had me Gobsmacked work you love Tex Avery because truly tech savory and those visuals whether it's Little Red Riding Little Little Hot Riding Hood Red Hot Riding Hood cartoon called Little Rural. Riding thank you. This is the ability of tongue. Twisters that what. He called the Tex. Avery take that route where the eyes get big and everything. It's say once you recognize someone style as with anything else you start to go. Oh that's what that is. And that's what they're imitating just reminded me that I also met Mel Blanc. I can't be a mortar blank. Who did the voices of everyone everybody? At Warner Brothers cartoons except Elmer. Fudd a wonderful radio actor named Arthur Q Bryan was elmer. And then you also remind me that I I met became very friendly with Bob Clampett. Another the Great Warner Brothers guys and Bob was very generous. I got a cold of some stills of behind the scenes staff at work at the studio and I sent to Bob and he not only identified a lot of people for me he sent the Xerox's to a inker painter friend of his who identified. Even more I mean people were so generous to me. They were and also of course they were happy to be finally being recognized. That's the thing. I think that I think that for all of you for your group of friends who do this This comes from a place of love and I do believe people recognize that and when they see that you are genuinely excited and genuinely want to speak about the you know this subject. That means so much to them. It's it's a happy thing I mean. You may know some of Chuck Jones. Great cartoons. Like the rabbit of Seville or duck amuck or what's opera? Doc or one froggy evening imagine making those cartoons and getting no response no write ups in the newspaper or the weekly newsmagazines no Hassan. `As from film critics anywhere. We could talk about aging well though if you told most kids. How old certain whether they're shorts or features are they wouldn't believe you. Anna character like bugs bunny especially because he is so Sassy Buds is. Sassy as hell. Would you think that this was not made yesterday? Now you know and and that's funny is funny good. Writing is good writing and this is true for all things but I do every now and then I think about I think about certain certain moments like that and I go that when when did it come out because to me. It doesn't age looking at the new BLU ray of Tex avery cartoons which you which worn archive he. I think he watched it. It's like you devoured. It became a part of your person. Pretty close I realized how many years have been sightseeing some of them. They're overpowering and They they look fast and they clever today. Imagine what they must have looked like in the forties to an auditing and audience of a slower pace life. Didn't you know up in those days as it does today if they look that extreme to us in the year twenty twenty must look like in one thousand nine hundred forty seven? I can't begin to imagine talk about that a little bit. So we have Disney Which again there's so much information out there. Now obviously everything that Walt did was his and exceptional law animation at Walt Disney's one on two tracks the main track being the development of the feature length cartoon and there's so much to be said about that people be writing about those forever and they're now so many books where there was only one. Yeah when I was eight or nine years old now. They're dozens and dozens and dozens but the other track the the less prestigious Less celebrated track was the short subjects now. The shorts originally were where all the milestones occurred. And we're a shorts in the thirties with their. Rnd Lab the research and development lab where they were experimenting and Finding out things they would utilize in the features but they kept making shorts in the forties and fifties and in the forties. They did wackier wilder things. Partly because Walt wasn't paying such close attention partly because they were watching those tex avery cartoons as well and the Warner Brothers cartoons and they said we don't want to be left behind in the dust so the goofy cartoons in particular from the forties the sports cartoon. Oh God they're so funny how to play baseball hockey homicide hockey homicide. That's just about my favorite and I I. I met Jack Kinney who directed almost all of those goofy cartoons and he was very very nice and wonderful sketch artists and he showed me Sketches he'd made a how he remembered the studio in those days I don't know how that got me. Worked on their always drawn characters of each other and he showed he had started a manuscript of kind of reminiscence of working at studio illustrated by him. And I took this to editor. I knew a crown publishers and I was kind of the the go between the midwife and that book came out. I think wolters near other assorted characters. And it's a wonderful evocative book so I'm grateful that I met Jack. Kenny of you know there and then of course all the Disaffected Artists Disney. The people who tended to be the better trained art school grab and more intellectual types. Those are the ones who went on strike in nineteen forty one. That's a big subject that we can't write hope to cover here in a couple of sentences and they also reunited and formed. Upa United Productions of America in the mid to late forties and they became a sensation using what we now think of as limited animation but it wasn't limited it was stylized animation and they created Gerald Mc boing boing and Mr Magoo and a lot of wonderfully inventive Cartoons that really were the equivalent of where modern art was going America at that time and graphic art and That's a time capsule and I interviewed a lot of the people who who were like leading lights at that studio ha again. The the door was open. Yeah and the time was right so talk talk about Tex Avery and where Texas the one that I never got to meet. I talk on the phone one day but I never got to meet him again if I if I lived in L. A. Then it wouldn't have been a big deal to meet him. I could have just driven over hanna-barbera where he was working for a while. Tex Name was Fred Avery and The boss Leon Schlesinger thought it was undistinguished to use nicknames for credits so he's always billed as Fred. Avery Charles M. Jones I is the door I period freeling. Yeah and as soon as that guy left they all started using the nickname right that godly singer who ran the studio and then sold it to warner brothers in nineteen forty six and a guy named Eddie Seltzer came in and I think it was. Eddie Seltzer. I hope I'm getting this right. Who wants heard a lot of raucous laughter and he stormed into the bullpen and said what's all this laughter with making of animated cartoons and anyway So techs started out at the Walter. Lantz studio was from Texas. Actually in and Started out wall through and then moved over to warner brothers. When Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising were still producing the cartoons former associates of Walt Disney's from Kansas City and they tended toward the cute and just as they left and went to GM tex came in and he tended to rebel against the cute and like one of his first cartoons one of his first grade cartoons as I love to sin and which still has cuteness to it. Yes but it also rocks the boat a little bit. And if you've never seen it please please go watch. I love to singer. It's it's just so good I will Jolson Owl Jolson if you don't get that joke that's okay. Maybe one day you will everytime I think about it. I start laughing and Tech started exerted his influence on the one brothers team of both Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett were animators for him and then graduated to the director's chair By the late thirties. Frist feeling had already started directing. He was longest running member of that of that gang. Texts kept Breaking down walls breaking down barriers in terms of humor in terms of visual ideas. He's the one who animated a hair in the in the projection gate. One time somebody pulled out you know or had a silhouette of a man coming into the unthinkable gags and he used to have what he called an ono session went and anybody. Anybody who's going into production with the cartoon whether it be Chuck Jones or Bob Clampett or Frank Tashaun or anyone else they would have a final Sort of Groupie group Get together where everybody would give them feedback on the story boards and Tex called it. An Ono sessions's no one is allowed to say. Oh No oh no. You wouldn't want. That was verboten at his his. Get togethers so he left warners and moved to. Mgm Forty two where he had more freedom. And I think even those little more money and that's when he really let loose and it was there he created droopy and it was there that he devised Red Hot Riding Hood Swing Shift Cinderella and the wolf yet and he worked with a very good gag writer named Heck Allen but heck Oh heck Allen said it was techs. Really you know made it happen. It was truly a collaboration. Chuck Jones worked with a great writer named Michael Maltese. But was the collaboration that made it so effective and These and again no recognition virtually none. Yeah which is just hard to fathom. Especially I think you know and I say this a lot because pop culture fascinates me but to see what survives Betty boop of all the evolve the cartoon characters that exist. Would you have ever thought that Betty boop would be what she is in pop culture and sex symbol type run? You know people dress. She's an icon. She is an icon That that and the joke is most people who say they like her have never seen. I've never seen a betty boop. They've never seen her fully at her best in a cartoon. Yeah a cartoon short and so there's something to look forward to. They may not know but they have some look forward to but she likes. Mickey Mouse became an icon as well and psychologists have discussed that why babies respond to Mickey Mouse In the CRIB. Yeah because round Yes circles. We like round round things. We liked circles. Rounds Friendly Square and a triangle. The sharp yeah and and they're to of course watching the watching the different characters change visually We evolve we. Tend to like the originals. Not just because their original. But that's a much like we've discussed a that. You have your own Batman Superman depending on what you saw I. That's I think that that's kind of how we come to our conclusions as it's what we saw. I I want me to look like mini and I want Mickey to Mickey and I don't like all the other random stuff I just don't in the same way that they are now doing these newer Bugs and Daffy cartoons and I just want them to look like bugs and Daffy you know my the old lady who's Grouchy in a corner absolutely I am. Yes you know. One of the nights at the new school I did seven. I showed seven bugs bunny cartoons each by a different director and the idea was to illustrate. How different bugs was under those leader under the leadership direction? Literally of Chuck Jones Bob Clampett trank Tashaun for his freeling. You Know Tex Avery Bob Mc Kempson and you can actually see it. He's still bugs bunny but the Chuck Jones made bug stand erect He liked that in. Chuck also Chuck and Mike. Maltese dominated the the belief that folks would never provoke anything. It always respond to being provoked. Yeah but the others had different different feelings. Different different subtly. Different sense of humor. I mean and this is true of course also with Disney in the sense that some are saccharin sweet and some will I keep using the word. Sassy 'cause it's the best word I can think of because they're not rude. It's just that in some cases Mickey had a little bit of an attitude. I recently showed. I recently showed an audience The nineteen forties you Disney Cartoon Symphony Hour in which Mickey pulls a gun on douse a gigantic six shooter and people just their head sat on the see. What did I just see that? Yes you did man anyway. It's it's a bottomless reserve of of great entertainment. Hi Art Disguised as popular culture. Pop Art if you will and and a wonderful treasure trove of of movies To discover and there's so much I think that part of what is nice is because there are shorts. You can try something Ally the picks bringing back their shorts in which is wonderful. But that's something where when we first moons ago now heard that they were going to be doing short like really. That was exciting because again for anyone who doesn't know that was very normal with motion pictures and people don't quite believe me. Don't quite get it but if you went to the movies anytime from one thousand nine hundred. Twenty s to the nineteen sixties. You saw at least one feature films sometimes a double feature plus always a Newsreel plus always cartoon and then maybe a travelogue musical short the three stooges or laurel and hardy but always a cartoon so that meant they were shown to general audiences grownup audiences at night. Not Not just on Saturday matinees for kids so these cartoons were never talking down to an audience. They were never aimed at kids. And that's one reason that so many of them that the that the best ones to warner brothers and MGM and Fleischer cartoons. That's one reason they hold up so well is that they were. You know they're entertaining themselves. Yeah Chuck others have been quoted on that. The other thing they had was they were kind of the bastard children of the industry. They got no respect so they had an US versus them. Kind of irreverent spirit. Rebellious spirit and I think that comes through the cartoons as well. Oh yeah that's it's something that especially to know when different things were made to understand how this character doing this. This character doing that It's it really whether it's sexuality or jokes. Well it's actually a Blu. Ray is a virtual catalogue of World War Two references about rationing about the rubber shortage. Thanks You know you almost need a glossary lexicon to to understand some of them but they showed those World War Two cartoons on TV. When I was growing up and I didn't get half the jokes now on so many many years later I still love them. And that's a whole the idea of of propaganda in cartoons. And they're so much in the same way that you would use elvis you know. Send Elvis because everybody loves Elvis Elvis's doing it. They'll do it. Well if you send Donald or Goofy or Mickey or bugs or whoever you put them in that position. It's the same kind of thing teaching you how to be patriotic. In what way. Donald Duck got people pay their taxes on time two years running yeah midst of World War Two. It's you know it's an incredible history. It's an incredible whereas Daffy duck dodge the man from the draft off. That's right very daffy thing to do. That's right no especially when you see some of the people that created them a lot of it can make sense and a lot of jokes can make sense but also the fact that she they play. So you didn't have to understand that. Daffy was dodging to under did it was funny. These different characters Even just violence it. It's interesting to me about what was funny. And what wasn't what worked The fact that you can have a series. It's just music something where you have roadrunner going meet meet. And that's essentially the extent of the talking when occasional word but for the most part signs they were almost silent. Yeah no it's it's great. It's great gag execution Writing an execution timing and as time and Chuck Jones said the difference between funny and not funny can be one frame one frame too long where you cut at one frame too short it can make a difference in how the Gag Lance we we can go on forever What I WANNA do with you. A sit down and sort of have conversations about Terry Tune. So people can sort of learn about each grouping More easily so. That's something that we have to come. Okay let us know what you would like to hear about what else interests you certainly within this realm animation. What do you WANNA learn But also just in general we were here and We enjoy chatting with you. We have a good time with you so let us know what you would like us to do next. 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