This 1961 film clip of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera explaining the TV animation process is well worth a view. There’s a lot of crazy stuff that happens in the mere span of three-and-a-half minutes. First there’s the shot of layout man Alex Lovy, who takes a long drag on his cigarette before he even starts to draw, which is a unique sight for any animation documentary. That’s followed by a shot of a stereotypically obese animator who barely fits in the frame. I more or less expect animators to look like this today, but it’s something of a surprise to see such a bulky animator in 1961.
Mark Mayerson, who originally linked to this clip, also notes the video’s “casual sexism” in which “‘girls’ do ink and paint, but a ‘man’ paints the backgrounds.” Along those lines, it’s worth noting that the best “how-to” advice in the video has nothing to do with animation. Just watch as Joe Barbera puts the moves on the foxy woman interviewer at around 1:30 into the clip. Now there’s a glimpse into a long-lost era when animation execs were also smooth operators.