Friday, March 06, 2009

Tony Benedict Predicts The Future (And is Funny)

Here's a dashing photo of Tony Benedict. From this picture it appears that he worked at Disney's early on and had a crush on Annette. I know him from his storyboards at Hanna Barbera. He was one of the last privileged artist/writers at HB. He both wrote and drew his own stories even into the 1980s if I remember correctly.
I first discovered his work while I was in Taipei in 1985. Many of the Jetsons storyboards I worked from were drawn by old-timers like Alex Lovy and Lew Marshall. Their storyboards were thoroughly professional. They were staged logically, the characters were "on-storyboard-model" - simple yet perfectly clear and therefore easy to work from.

Then one day, the latest storyboard came through the fax machine and it was completely different. It was not merely "correct" and logical, it was super cartoony, alive and funny as Hell. The storyboard itself was a work of art. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of it to show you.
Anyway it was one of those storyboards that just inspired you to put more effort into your cartoon because it looked like the artist was really having fun drawing (and I think-writing) it.
Once I discovered Tony's work, I called Bob Hathcock (my producer) and begged him to send me all of Tony's storyboards to work on. I knew if they sent his work to one of the other overseas factories, it would be totally wasted and you'd never see what he did make it to the screen.
Maybe someone out there has a copy of Tony's SB work on the Jetsons. Maybe Tony, if you read blogs? I would love to post some of his unique stylish and funny work.
Tony did the board for "High-Tech-Wreck" which was my favorite episode of the Jetsons to work on. These are some of the layouts we did. I think "Ronald" did the ones below.

If anyone has any copies of Tony's work, I'd love it if you posted it and sent a link.