Golden Age animator Phil Monroe (1916-1988) is rarely discussed, even amongst animation cognoscenti, which is unfortunate because he had an amazing career. Over the course of his career, he animated for an honor roll of legendary directors including Bob Clampett, John Hubley, Chuck Jones, Pete Burness, Friz Freleng, and Frank Tashlin. Animation historian Michael Barrier has posted a never-before-published 1976 interview with Phil Monroe that he and Milton Gray conducted.
The interview delves into details that may appeal to only a small portion of our twenty thousand-plus daily readers, but if you appreciate classic Warner Bros. shorts and animation history in general, the interview is guaranteed to blow your mind. There’s even a great story about how Monroe got Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng to square dance with one another, even though “they were barely on speaking terms.” Barrier conducted a follow-up interview with Monroe in 1987, which he promises to publish online soon.