THE WALL STREET JOURNAL takes a look at DVNR, the digital clean-up technology which has ruined countless classic cartoons released onto home video, dvd and laserdisc. This Cartoon Brew entry from April has more background info on DVNR.
Thurl Ravenscroft, who roared “They’re Grrrrreeeat!” in Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger ads and voiced a host of Disney characters, died Sunday of prostate cancer. He was 91.For more than 50 years, Ravenscroft was the voice behind Tony the Tiger, TV’s popular cartoon pitchman for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. He is also well known for his cartoon voice work with Disney and Chuck Jones – including singing the classic “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – and lent his voice to characters on rides at Disneyland, including the Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion. Born in Norfolk, Neb., Ravenscroft moved to California in 1933 to study art. By the mid-1930s he was appearing regularly on radio, and by the late-1930s he was singing backup for Bing Crosby. In 1952, Ravenscroft’s voice appeared in the first Frosted Flakes commercial.
Another classic cartoon voice has left us. Comedian-actor-director Howard Morris passed away Saturday afternoon. An announcement was posted by Howard’s son on his Ernest T. Bass homepage.Morris, well known for his appearances with Sid Ceaser and Carl Reiner on YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS in the 1950s, joined the regular cast at Hanna Barbera with his portrayal of Jet Screamer (above) on THE JETSONS in 1962. He also voiced Atom Ant, Mr. Peebles and Breezly Bruin among others for H-B. More importantly, Morris did most of the voices for Gene Deitch’s Oscar winning short MUNRO (1960), was King Features’ BEETLE BAILEY (1962) and enacted several voices on Filmation’s THE ARCHIE SHOW (1968), including Jughead.He was a regular voice in Disney films, a member of the Mel Brooks stock company, and directed numerous 60s sitcoms and comedy features.An enormous talent. Rest in peace.
Best known for his voice of Fred Flintstone (replacing Alan Reed after his death), character actor Henry Corden has passed away at age 85.Outside of his Flintstone work, my favorite role of his was his recurring stint as Mr. Babbitt, the gruff landlord of THE MONKEES.He shall be missed.
Howard Green informs us of the passing of Ollie Johnston’s beloved wife, Marie, Friday morning at her home in La Canada surrounded by family.She was 87 years old. She and Ollie had been married for 62 years.
He really really likes it! Link
THE ART OF ANIMATION TIMING: A MASTER SESSION WITH FRED CRIPPEN takes place this Saturday, May 21st at 3pm. It’s at The American Film Institute (Ted Ashley Screening Room, 2021 N. Western Ave. Hollywood, CA). Fred is one of the true living legends of the animation biz — a veteran of the famed design studio UPA and creator of ROGER RAMJET. He has a lifetime of accumulated knowledge about the art form and he’s generously willing to share it all. We’ll be showing plenty of his films and discussing his distinctive approach to animation. Come prepared with your questions.
ASIFA-Hollywood members get free admission as always. Non-members pay $10, but here’s the deal: if you mention Cartoon Brew, admission is half-price ($5) for non-members. For a bit more about the event, see this earlier write-up. See ya there!
Animator Oscar Grillo sends us a new drawing everyday. This was the one he sent today.
Pardon my long silence. Deadlines aplenty. I’m happy to report that all the text for my 50s animation design book is now finished. The pressure of this book has hardly subsided; there are now impending deadlines for images, text revisions and pressing non-book matters (like a little thing called ANIMATION BLAST #9 that I’m itching to finish up and have sent to the printer). It’s interesting to note that there is now nearly three times as much text in the book as originally intended. There is so little information available about most designers from that period that it seemed like a disservice to print an artist’s work without offering proper biographic details and a discussion of their specific contributions to animation design. It’s going to be a huge challenge fitting in all of this text with the images, and not ending up with something that looks like a Chip Kidd book design, but I’m confident that my designer will come up with a classy solution.
I’m moved! Now it’s a month of unpacking boxes and reorganizing my storage space. But my long national nightmare is over. Back to blogging!First, I must note that my buddy Martha Sigall is continuing her national book tour – or at least the west coast leg – by appearing at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego this Saturday.If you love the classic Warner Bros. cartoons you will really enjoy Martha’s book, LIVING LIFE INSIDE THE LINES, written from her point of view as an inker & painter at the Looney Tunes studio (and her subsequent stints at MGM, Bob Clampett, Bill Melendez, etc.). She will be signing books May 21st at 2pm at the gallery at 2501 San Diego Ave. in Old Town. Check the Chuck Jones website for more information.
This Saturday night, from 7-10pm is the opening reception for Gary Baseman’s new art show “For the Love of Toby” at Billy Shire Fine Arts (5790 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232). The show’s novelty stems from the fact that the over seventy pieces of art–wood panel paintings, plush sculpture, vintage photographs and ephemera–are all character-driven. They revolve around Baseman’s creation, Toby, a surreal Fleischer-esque animal who will be instantly familiar to fans of Gary’s work. What’s next…a Toby animated cartoon…perhaps his time has come. A preview of the show can be found at HEAD MAGAZINE.
Please forgive the infrequent posts… I’m almost moved in – but it’ll take all week to unpack the boxes.A note to my personal friends reading the blog: My phone number, the one I’ve had for over ten years, is history. It’s been disconnected, and my new number won’t be connected until next Friday. As I do not have a cell phone, I will be a bit hard to reach this week. I’m working on a solution and should have a temporary phone number on Monday. Till then best way to reach me is by email. Tonight I move my computer to my new home and tomorrow morning Comcast is set to come over and hook me up… I hope!Wish me luck!
Margaret Loesch will speak on June 18, 2005, at 12 noon at The Smoke House restaurant when Women In Animation Los Angeles hosts a lunch in her honor.
Margaret has known nearly every one in the business and has so many tales to tell! She was five years at Hanna Barbera, and six at Marvel Productions. She has worked at Fox Kids Network, Jim Henson Television Group, Crown Media United States, the U. S. cable channel Odyssey, and launched the Hallmark Channel. She is currently the CCEO of The Hatchery LLC, a family entertainment company she launched in 2003 and serves on the Board of Trustees of Sesame Workshop, producers of Sesame Street.The Smoke House restaurant is located at 4420 Lakeside Dr., Burbank (across from Warner Bros.) Cost of the lunch is $20 per person, with a No Host Bar. Seating is limited. You may prepay (recommended) by sending a check to:WIA/Loesch lunch, PO Box 251, Topanga, CA 90290