texaveryday texaveryday

Texas is Honoring the Legendary Tex Avery With His Own Day

Although he died 34 years ago, Tex Avery’s impact on the animation art form remains a continuous presence. Without exaggeration, almost all animation today that emphasizes comedy and caricature bears his influence, either directly or indirectly. Doesn’t matter whether it’s Adventure Time or Despicable Me or SpongeBob, Avery’s surreal, slapstick visual approach makes its presence known, an irrepressible and incalculable force, a counterweight to the prevailing ‘illusion of life’ and script-driven orthodoxies that limit Hollywood animation.

In his own time, Avery inspired and motivated directors like Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, and even the animation masters at Disney. Disney Nine Old Man Ward Kimball once wrote in his journal that a screening of Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood “brought the house down” at Disney. The typically jaded animators spent the whole afternoon “moaning the fact that [they hadn’t] made a cartoon like that in years!”

For all his notoriety within the animation community, Avery hasn’t received the accolades owed him as one of America’s finest animation directors. Hearing news about any recognition or honor that he receives is delightful, which is why I’m happy to report that Avery’s hometown of Taylor, Texas (population 15,191) has declared February 22, 2014, to be Tex Avery Day.

The festivities will take place at the Howard Theatre, and the event will feature the dedication of a Texas State Historical Marker in Avery’s honor, as well as guest speakers, screenings of his cartoons, and a Tex Avery portrait unveiling. Taylor is a little more than a half hour’s drive from Austin so if you attend, please send us a report.

Click on the image below for all the details:

  • Elana Pritchard

    That’s good news. Go Tex!

  • Aaron R.R.R. Nance

    The mood is light – the humor’s tight
    Deep in that art of Tex’s..

    Well done Taylor!

  • Al Sirois

    Tex rules, it’s that simple.

  • Gary Davenport

    An EXCELLENT Tribute to a man that contributed so much to the area of Animated Humor!! /:o)

  • Henry Cohn

    Was the “(population 15,191)” bit meant to be a homage?

  • Tim Hodge

    Let’s hope Meryl Streep never makes a speech about him.

  • Hankenshift

    Makes sense. texas: a state run by whacky cartoon characters.

  • guest

    “A Prophet Hath No Honour in His Own Country”… perfect anecdote … Glen Keane (on getting the 2012 DIFF Texas Avery Award) remembered meeting Tex Avery at Disney: http://diff2012.dallasfilm.org/diff-video-glen-keane-diff-2012s-texas-avery-animation-award-recipient/

    GK: Well, it was — it felt like it was a perfect completion in a way. I had just stepped away from Disney after 38 years, and when I heard that I was going to get this award it brought me back to when I was 20 years old and started and met Tex Avery at Disney. And I more than anything wanted to work with him. I mean, I think if he had had a studio I would have gone to work for Tex Avery. And at 20 years old he came to the studio — I mean when I was 20 he came, he was an older man, and I said, “Tex, what are you doing now?” He said, “Nothing.” I said, “What? What do you mean, nothing?” He says, “Well, nobody wants to — wants what I do anymore.” I said, “Well, we want you! Come here to Disney!” We were just a bunch of young animators there, and so he said, “Well I would — you would — I’ve never been asked to be here at Disney. I would love to.” And so I ran upstairs to management and said, “You’ll never believe it. Tex Avery wants to work with us!” And they said, “Who’s Tex Avery?”