The post I did a couple days ago, “Animation’s Greatest Executives”, wasn’t really intended to be about Leon Schlesinger, but that’s what Mark Evanier and Larry Loc are talking about. So while we’re on the subject of Leon, here’s a great story from Warner Bros. background painter Zach Schwartz about his dealings with Leon.
UPA founder Zach Schwartz recalls his experience when he started at Schlesinger’s in the Thirties:
[I was] full of all the marvelous things I was going to do for animation, the color schemes and the compositions I was going to bring there. I was sitting there painting some watercolors one day and a fat, red, pudgy finger came over my shoulder, and the finger said, ‘Use poiple. We got poiple now. Use it!’ It turned out to be Leon Schlesinger, who didn’t care a terrible lot about the quality of his films. He just liked to be able to get them out on time, and get them over to Warner Bros. But they had finally gotten Technicolor, after muddling around with a two-color process that turned everything brown or green, and he was so proud of the fact that they had purple that he couldn’t stand it, because I was painting everything yellow.