Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bill, Joe and Friz sound off pt 2




Hear the radical thoughts of 3 of the most conservative directors from the golden age of animation!

http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/05/biography-john-k-interviews-bill-joe.html

63 comments:

Danne8a said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bgudna said...

great interview john!
real informative stuff, like all your posts ;)

Ze (Zuplemento.com) said...

Saludos desde Zuplemento
Viva Ren & Stimpy!

Ze

jorge garrido said...

These guys were geniuses. I don't think anyone needs to be talking shit about Friz.

Kevin Langley said...

I like some of Friz earlier cartoons, but Hanna & Barbera's Tom and Jerry shorts were some of the best shorts ever made, especially the mid 40s ones. Nice interview.

David Germain said...

From the interview, I gathered that Joe Barbara and Friz Freleng didn't get along too well.

Anonymous said...

I hate Friz Frelengs cartoons.
They're so stiff, stale and boring.
It's amazing that he won the Oscar for the awful 'Tweety Pie'.
How in the world could you take Clampetts cool, ultra violent Tweety and turn him into such an awful, unfunny hermaphrodite.
Friz also took the chase cartoon to such boring heights it's unbelievable that more than one tweety and sylvester cartoon even exist.
All form and no substance=Friz Freleng.


Oh yeah,I like to see you try to beat Friz 's five awards record with your tastless topic cartoons.

Stephen Worth said...

Joe and Friz got along fine. What you see there is what doesn't come across in history books about animation- personality. Joe Barbera is a fast talking salesman type, and Friz was a bit grumpy. Put them together, and you get some interesting interaction. Once you understand where the person is coming from, it's easier to put what they say in context. That's why interviews are so much more enlightening than a historian's narrative of what happened.

See ya
Steve

Dr.Awkward said...

Sorry, I must have mistaken the Vince & Jen caricature for another couple. But, unlike "Anonymous" told me, there wasn't any Bruce Willis in the archives that I could find!

jorge garrido said...

Is that a Virgil Ross animaiton sketch of Bugs?

"Just like Gary Cooper."

Scott Wright said...

ah...my youth....love Tom and Jerry

SACKS said...

Tom and Jerry are the coolest. I did a pic of them for last weeks Throwback Thursdays post. Your notes are the gospel. What are your thoughts on the Richard Williams Survival kit book. As an animator, it's like the animation bible for me. I attended his masterclass way back in NY. Maybe you could do the same touring workshops for character design and good humor. You should at least consider puting out a book. Hell, Don Bluth put out a storyboard book. Keep up the good posts.

Anonymous said...

Hi John, I am Fabiopower again. I want to comentt you that really it is amused to find people who also it likes the cartoons classic. Honestly for me it was a true discovery. In my country, the industry of the animation is just beginning. I wait for you can understand my words, because I occupy a simple software of translation to communicate to me with you….(!!!) In the same way, I translate your “blog”, “posts” and it completes interview (“Bill, Joe and Friz”) that really is very good. The teachers are a great one reference for which he is beginning. I have one devises I can to make an interview to you someday…? what do you think? … Fabio
http://fabiopower.blogspot.com

R2K said...

: )

Stephen Worth said...

I think Fabio's simple software of translation is better than most Saturday morning cartoon writers!

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

Hey Jonh,

I draw alot, but can only seem to draw characters facing to the left, in this direction:
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I also tend to draw them in a style similar to the Simpsons, because I find it somewhat easier to draw that way.
(By the way, I find the appearance of the Simpsons characters strangely appealing, and also find the voicework pretty amazing. I only liked episodes from seasons 3 to 5, though, which I watched as re-runs aired on weekday evenings. I )
I got so used to watching that show that I started to emulate it and draw like it. I know it's a bad habit, but I guess I just might not be as talented as other people think I am.

xtracrsP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johan said...

Hey John, you helped with the new adventures of mighty mouse right? Have you heard of any kind of release info for that to dvd? That show was put together very well.
Take care.

junior said...

I draw alot, but can only seem to draw characters facing to the left, in this direction:


I've had the same problem. My brother, who is lefthanded, used to draw everyone facing right, heh. I say you should get your sketchbook and redo tons of your stuff mirrored. Or just draw everyone facing right for a week. Force yourself to be able to do it the other way. You might feel it's easier to do them facing left for your whole life, but that's only a problem if it prevents you from doing it the other way...

Clinton said...

I don't remember seeing that "mickey mouse" lookalike in those harman/ising shorts I use to catch. But that was the style of the times wasn't it? This is evidence of evolving cartoon characters. Are there any "leon schlesingers" in the present time? I remember reading about termite terrace and the early days of merrie melodies. Leon didn't care so much about what cartoon came out of his directors, just as long as he was making money. Today, the suits and focus groups are running things. I wish they will let the inmates run the asylum again, those were some good times! When were these interviews taken?

Clinton said...

If anyone wants to see some old harman-ising shorts, I hope you have cable. I think it's AMC, or TMC. one of those classic movie channels has "cartoon alley" on saturday mornings. they play harman-ising shorts there.

jorge garrido said...

>Honestly for me it was a true discovery. In my country, the industry of the animation is just beginning.

Hey Fabio! Become the first great cartoonist from your country! If you practice you'll can become even better than John!

That's my plan... I wanna make cartoons that are even better than Friz, Bill & Joe's cartoons. I know it'll be impossible but I'm gonna shoot for the moon.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

Fascinating interview. I can't wait for the rest.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

>>Hey John, you helped with the new
>>adventures of mighty mouse right?
>>Have you heard of any kind of
>>release info for that to dvd?

I read somewhere that the people who put out the Ren & Stimpy DVDs were going to do a Mighty Mouse DVD but there was some kind of rights issue. I'd like to see all the original Terrytoons on DVD, personally.

Mitch K said...

Ah man! I thought I was going to get the rest of the interview! But hey, this is more than great -- I got to see a few cartoons too!

Thanks Johno.

Anonymous said...

Hey John, have you seen the new Hannah/Barbara toys from McFarlane toys?

Well they're more like mini dioramas(sp?) but they look pretty cool.

You should be able to find some pictures of them at www.spawn.com

-Ollie

Stephen Worth said...

The interview will run in at least seven parts. Sorry to have to break it up, but it's a lot of work gathering all of the images and videos to illustrate it. I want to do it up right, so I'm taking it a section at a time.

Thanks
Steve

Charles Brubaker said...

Neat interview, John.

Out of curiosity, did you ask Friz anything about DePatie-Freleng? (Pink Panther, Ant and the Aardvark) I'm curious what Freleng himself had to say about the studio that mostly employed ex-LT artists (Art Davis, Bob McKimson, etc.)

henryhiggins said...

Hey John are you ambidextrous?

JohnK said...

>>
Out of curiosity, did you ask Friz anything about DePatie-Freleng? <<

No. I'm just barely interested in his full animation, let alone his limited animation. I really was more interested in the history of Looney Tunes and his take on what everyone else was doing.

It's funny-he hated everyone else's cartoons-mostly because they were too cartoony or stylish. He was the most conservative guy there and only (just) kept up with the times because he had to. You'll see as the interview progresses.

>>Hey John are you ambidextrous?

Nope.

austin 3:16 said...

"Oooh! Hot faggot action!" ; )

P.C. Unfunny said...

"It's funny-he hated everyone else's cartoons-mostly because they were too cartoony or stylish."

C'mon John,Friz respected Chuck Jones.

JohnK said...

>>C'mon John,Friz respected Chuck Jones.

Read the interview when he talks about it.

Sophorn said...

Hi John,

Here is my blog address http://1941robote.blogspot.com/
some of my work is on there.
My email adress is sophorn_sin77@yahoo.com

-Sophorn

Anonymous said...

Hi John!

I've always wanted to know what was your opinion or theory about the Tom & Jerry cartoons that Chuck Jones directed?

Jesse Oliver

P.S. If there is one cartoon from Friz Freleng I hate it has to be his Tweety & Sylvester cartoons.

Kali Fontecchio said...

In "Lady Play Your mandolin" the part when the hippo is drinking and says, "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" like an airplane made me HAPPY.

Yay.

Adam B said...

Hi John,

I was wondering, why did cartoons disappear from the movie theatres? I know after the arrival of television alot of studios made cartoons specifically for tv, but why didnt they keep making quality cartoons for the cinema if live action movies were kept being made specifically for the movie theatre , AS WELL as live action being made specifically for TV.I dont understand it, has it got to do with there is only a certain amount of animators to go around, while anyone can point a camera at something?

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Read the interview when he talks about it."

Okay, I'll keep reading.

Fabio Power said...

Hello, Jorge Garrido! Thanks friend for your enthusiasm and your good vibrate. In Chile already a small “industry of the animation” began. From the last year, the TV channels have been opened to proposals, now, for kids only. And the government also destines some money for audio-visual development ..... Ever since I found this blog, every day I feel with more enthusiasm. I am reviewing the classes of John, because I do not want to be slow. But already I made my first step: I bought the book of Preston Blair. Fabiopower

David Germain said...

>>C'mon John,Friz respected Chuck Jones.

Read the interview when he talks about it.


I read somewhere that Jones' first directorial efforts at Warner Bros. were so disappointing that Leon was considering having Jones busted back down to animator again. But then it was Friz who went to bat for Jones saying "C'mon Leon, give the kid a chance. He'll dazzle you someday, you'll see." (I'm paraphrasing of course). I think that's why in Chuck Amuck, Jones has nothing but absolute praise for Freleng.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"I think that's why in Chuck Amuck, Jones has nothing but absolute praise for Freleng."

Yep, as Chuck said one time "No one except Tex Avery had as perfect sense of timing as did Friz Freleng"

Charles Brubaker said...

>>It's funny-he hated everyone else's cartoons-mostly because they were too cartoony or stylish. He was the most conservative guy there and only (just) kept up with the times because he had to. You'll see as the interview progresses.

Yeah, some people don't like cartoonish animation. I think I read somewhere that Bob McKimson ALSO despised this, and in fact, hated Rod Scribner's animation.

And I have one of the "Simpsons" DVD that contains an unaired rough cut, and the animation was actually pretty cartoony (in some scenes). However, the show's staff hated it so much, they made the animation studio in Korea to do it over and make it more "conservative".

Shawn said...

>> some people don't like cartoonish animation.


Most people don't like ANYTHING good. They only like boring, modern shit. That's why I hate most people. I think cartoony cartoonists are superior from anyone else...just too bad they're a dying breed.

jorge garrido said...

You know, I think John seems grumpier than Friz. Not in the interivew, but overall. You learned well from him, John.

Eric C. said...

John, what do think about the Yosamite Sam cartoons?

What would you do with him if you were Friz?

jorge garrido said...

Hey, everyone go read some more aniamtion history, Milt Gray's essays on Clampett and Coal Black, to supplement this, on Mike Barrier's site:

http://www.michaelbarrier.com/Essays/Milt_Gray/Gray_on_Coal_Black.htm

http://www.michaelbarrier.com/Essays/Milt_Gray/Gray_on_Clampett.htm

cemenTIMental said...

Off topic, I just remembered about "Anna and the Moods", the new animated series for which Bjork does some voice acting... makes me really depressed; having had the beautiful spumco video, and having NOT alas had the Bjork spumco series which was rumoured at the time and would have been so amazing, we now have this:

http://www.annaandthemoods.com/

X_X

my eyes!

Aimee's Sketch Blog said...

In a local newspaper interview I recently read, an old-timer was recalling what going to the movies was like. She said it was an all day event! Something like 2 full length features, and a few toons at the end for about 40 cents.

Now you just get crap. It's not up for debate as far as I'm concerned.

Tony said...

Hey John,
great posts here! Like to read what people are saying about your content when you give them something to chew!!
Regards to the whole spumco crew!

Regards,
Tony

Anonymous said...

Friz wasn't the greatest of the Golden Age guys, but he was still pretty damn great!

I love all those guys, this is a real treat to be able to read their thoughts, it's really amazing. Since I bet no one interview them back in their prime.

Thank you for doing it Johnk!

I love this blog!

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Yeah, some people don't like cartoonish animation. I think I read somewhere that Bob McKimson ALSO despised this, and in fact, hated Rod Scribner's animation."

Bob McKimson ? I find that surprising.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Most people don't like ANYTHING good. They only like boring, modern shit. That's why I hate most people."

Okay,someone has issues.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how people like Friz's cartoons. Have you really watched them?

His art direction and animation might be technically good, but they are so godawful boring.

I loved the early Tom and Jerry cartoons. When Tom was called Jasper and had crazy amounts of fur before the redesign.

Baby Puss

Thad K said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thad K said...

I like Friz's shorts just fine, but I like Jones, Clampett, Tashlin, and McKimson more. It's just the 'somebody has to be the bad guy' idea.

I can think of far worse directors than Friz. Ever hear of Bobe Cannon? There's a reason why he didn't get the director's chair when Tash and Clampett left!!!

Charles Brubaker said...

Cannon? How about Paul J. Smith? ;)

C. A. M. Thompson said...

Personally I'd pick Gerald McBoing Boing and a bunch of Cannon's other great UPA pictures over anything Friz ever did but there's no accounting for taste.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

P.C. Unfunny said...
"Yeah, some people don't like cartoonish animation. I think I read somewhere that Bob McKimson ALSO despised this, and in fact, hated Rod Scribner's animation."

Bob McKimson ? I find that surprising.

Yep, McKimson said, in one of his rare interviews, that the crew he inherited from Tashlin were "used to over-animating." He also stated that he had to be careful in regards to which scenes he handed Scribner since his animation was so wild, but that Scribner became a good animator "once he calmed down."

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Thad K said...
I like Friz's shorts just fine, but I like Jones, Clampett, Tashlin, and McKimson more. It's just the 'somebody has to be the bad guy' idea.

I can think of far worse directors than Friz. Ever hear of Bobe Cannon? There's a reason why he didn't get the director's chair when Tash and Clampett left!!!


Freleng made some good cartoons in the 40's when Mike Maltese was writing for him. Cartoons such as "Racketeer Rabbit", "Little Red Riding Rabbit", "Baseball Bugs", etc. I also like some of his early 40's cartoons like "Confederate Honey" and "You Ought To Be In Pictures".

But overall he is the weakest of all the major directors at WB. (Well, McKimson got pretty bad in the 50's, too.) His animation is rather dull and conservative; it illustrates the point but doesn't add to it.

I think there were many other directors worse than Freleng at the other major studios. People such as Seymour Kneitel at Famous Studios, Burt Gillete at Van Beuran, Paul J. Smith at Lantz, and Pete Burness at UPA, just to name a few.

Nic Kramer said...

Pete burness being a worst director my eye! He did some of the best Magoo cartoons. Heck, even the weaker Magoo cartoons were better than most of Magoo UPA TV cartoons. Tell me if he was bad director, explain how one of his catoons almost made to 50 Greatest Cartoon list, hmm?
(sorry for being stean, but calling somesome a worst director who won two awards is not fair to me).

Anonymous said...

I can think of far worse directors than Friz. Ever hear of Bobe Cannon? There's a reason why he didn't get the director's chair when Tash and Clampett left!!!

Both Bobe and Freling did some great cartoonsin the 1950s.
(there's a reason why Thad shouldn't have done a leanthly bashing UPA post).

Thad K said...

Cannon was a fantastic animator, but he only did one really great film as a director ("Gerald McBoing Boing"). We could have lived without the rest of his shorts though.

Burness was an incredibly weak animator at MGM and WB, I'd put him down there with Gerry Chiniquy and Dick Bickenbach, so I'll decline comment on why he was a weak director.

And yeah there is a reason I did that UPA post... I'm the only one with the guts to say it! (maybe Eddie will agree with me on that...)

- Thad

nic Kramer said...

Look, I agree on anonymouse here, and say that Cannon's cartoons were great in a different way than being funny. They were poinient( sic). And maybe the reason why Burness is because he may had autisiem( I can't even spell even though I have it). Belive me, I diffcult with someone with dreams. Someone who gets pick on at school because I still like Bugs and Mickey. Someone who want to be an animator but can't even draw. Someone who looks up on these and other classic cartoons and couldn't help being ticked off on other people's opions. How would you feel living like that?

By the way Eddie, if you are reading this, do not make a UPA bashing post or else I promise I'll make your comment post full.