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French TV coverage of Tex Avery’s passing

Unlike the United States, the French considered Tex Avery a genius in his time. When he passed away (8/26/80), the French mourned – and here’s a small example: a TV news broadcast featuring actress/screenwriter and critic France Roche discussing the passing of Tex Avery from August 29th, 1980. I don’t recall such attention being paid on U.S. TV at the time.

(Thanks, Valentin Moretto)

  • TheDirtyVicar

    The French revere Tex Avery as a genius, an innovator and a pioneer – but when it came time to issue his cartoons on DVD, they chose censored, butchered prints. They’re still ahead of us in this regard, but not by much….

    • MonsieurU

      Indeed, they were, and I hold dear my “Compleat Tex Avery” LD set just for this reason.

      Still, you have to understand that it’s whoever who owns the rights for these cartoons who edited them.

      I have very fond memories of watching Tex Avery’s cartoons on TV when I was a kid, even though they were shown late at night. Of course, most of the innuendoes passed way above my head, but it was still a blast. And yes, we have film critic Patrick Brion to thank for that, he was the one who programmed these first, in a show called “le cinéma de minuit”.
      It’s these kind of early influences that made me love animation, and decided me to choose this career.

      (I’m french, BTW)

  • Back in 1980, I was working at HB Los Angeles and it was there that a young Dave Feiss introduced me to Tex Avery.
    He was the sweetest old fellow.
    Tex was timing sheets for the Kwicky Koala show but what really bugged me was that management had provided him with a windowless 6’x 8’cubicle probably an empty storage room.
    There he sat at a small side table and that’s it.
    I could not believe how they treated such a wonderful genious.
    So it doesn’t really surprise me that his passing went largely unoticed back then in L.A.
    Tex will always be my hero.

  • Arthur, Tex CREATED and DIRECTED Kwicky Koala and he insisted on timing the x-sheets. I was at H-B then and worked with Tex and Chuck Couch a bit; they shared a big office across from the recording studio on the ground floor in the old building. They put a sign on their door that labeled it “Sun City”.

  • Tex Avery was anything but “unnoticed” when he worked at H-B. Bill and Joe admired Tex who insisted we all call him “Fred” (although Joe loved to call him “Texaco”). We were all so excited to have him there, we were always paying visits to his office.

  • Ed Thompson

    Cartoons are for children. Serious adults do not work in the animation field or if they do, they don’t admit it. This has been the attitude of America in general and Hollywood in particular for decades. I wish it was different, but it’s not, and it isn’t going to be.

    • david

      Too bad you think like that. I love cartoons and I’m an adult.

      • He’s not saying he thinks like that.

    • Martin Juneau

      I find your comment a bit disgraceful. Tough i’m not longer a animation fan, i have some respect to the artists and the overall art. And claim it on a animation blog is a big insult to this peoples. They have now more varieties of cartoons than 30-40 years ago who can even touch the adults.

      • Rich

        I think david and Martin Juneau have misunderstood the post by Ed (or not read more than the first couple of lines). I read it as a description of what America and Hollywood’s attitude is towards cartoons followed by “I wish it was different” which I’m fairly certain is his opinion on the matter.

  • uncle wayne

    No, David. EVERY one who reads this SITE loves cartoons, and EVERY one here are adults! Bravo!

    • Ed was just pointing out the opinion of the majority of Adults in America. Not what he wishes was the truth.

  • Toonio

    Give me a Tex Avery corporation any day of the week.

  • Robert Reynolds

    It’s been over 30 years and my memory may be playing me false, but I remember watching a two hour show on Turner (the “Super Station”) either the day he died or the day after. They had footage of Avery, had a bit of a biography about his life and included a number of cartoons as well. If I remember rightly, they showed it more than once, as a tribute to Avery. I think it was already in the can when he died, because I remember seeing it a year or so before he died. But you’re right, there wasn’t a whole lot when it happened.

  • Gerard de Souza

    I knew some of his cartoons at his passing but, I confess, I didn’t know the name Tex Avery. At 18 I hadn’t seen MGM cartoons on TV for 10 years. I learned it at his passing; a small article in the city paper and later I got the commemorative issue of Mindrot.

    But what an intelligent passionate report.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Interesting. I would love to see Japanese newscasts regarding Osamu Tezuka’s passing in 1989.

  • Tex Avery was and is the father of classic animation. He lit a fire under the asses of Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Robert McKimson, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, and his work has inspired modern animators for many years. Yet all we’ve gotten on DVD so far is a few of his WB classics and his Droopy cartoons marred by digital DVNR. Oh, and that crappy 90’s “Wacky World” show bearing only his name that you can find DVDs of at the dollar store. Can we have a proper DVD release of this man’s work, restored and in historical context? Please?

  • akira

    come on jerry please tell me you’re working on the complete tex avery blu ray set for 2012!!! (i hope it didn’t depend on the looney tunes set’s success, because i bet a lot of people didn’t shell out for the toons they just bought on dvd a few years earlier) i hope we don’t have to wait for a Mask remake for them to have faith in a market for tex avery again…

  • jerome

    In France, that’s a tradition to show some Tex Avery cartoons on TV for christmas and new year’s eve. Last december, they showed some of his old warner cartoons…
    Well, by “they”, I sould rather say “Patrick Brion”, who’s a big cinephile and the one who keep playing it on his show… He also wrote a beautiful book about Tex Avery, listing all his cartoons and showing nice big bits of artwork :

  • Sigg

    “Follow that cab!” – That gag always gets me!

  • I’m so glad I had the opportunity to watch about 60 or more of Avery’s shorts on a real screen in the late 80’s. They were 16mm prints only, but they were uncensored and included “Coal Black” and other gems omitted by recent collections.

    And I only could see them because some enterprising guy bought those prints from whatever source and distributed them without caring about right and licences. Today this would be called piracy of the worst kind. For us it was a valuable introduction into an important part of world culture.

    • Brian O’Connell

      Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves was a Bob Clampett CartoooOOoooon!

  • Ha…. so I guess it would be pointless to ask if there are in the USA any King Size Canary toys/maquettes available for shipping. :'(

    • Brian O’Connell

      Hell, let’s hope they have some Red Hot Riding Hood maquettes, wrow wrow!

  • Michel Van

    In France, Tex Avrey is consider as cultural institution
    The second largest French public television channel “FRANCE 3”
    they show ones in the year ALL Tex Avrey cartoon true the night

    the museum of audiovisual Art in France show regular retrospective on Tex Avrey work.
    the best literature about golden age of US Animation and Tex Avrey, you find in France.

    Allot of french animator, Comic Artis/authors are inspire by Tex Avrey

    so Tex Avrey has a divine Worship he deserves, sadly not in USA…

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I could see that too in their work, he was obviously a great inspiration to all.

      • Andrew Kieswetter

        I’ve long noticed Avery’s influence on Albert Uderzo’s Asterix artwork.

  • Martin Juneau

    When in France, they claim Tex Avery as a cartoon genius, the name is too much unknown in Canada. I wish it’s gonna be different and they pays actual attention to this man but they like better to play the Tom and Jerry/Droopy re-incarnations instead to the true ones.

  • Andre

    I first heard of Tex when I bought a copy of Joe Adamson’s book, Tex Avery: King Of Cartoons. I was in college back then (late 70’s) and the more I read that book, the more I wanted to see those wonderful cartoons. When the local station in NYC (WPIX back then) began airing the classic Tom And Jerry and some of the Avery toons, I was one happy camper. They were even funnier than Adamson’s descriptions in the book! I still have my 4 VHS copies but yeah, I long to see a complete DVD re-issue of his work.

  • after Tex ‘passing, I told one of Tex last living animators, Michael Lah ” Mike, if you visited France, the French would worship you like a rock star!” Mike looked at me like i was out of my mind.”

    • Chris Sobieniak

      If he only knew!

  • Heey, where’s the rest of this news broadcast?? I wanna see that “previously unreleased excerpt of a Bugs Bunny short”!

  • Andrew KIeswetter

    The announcer was wrong regarding Avery’s age.Tex was 73 when he passed away.