If one man can be credited with resuscitating American commercial animation from its near-death experience in the ’80s and ’90s, the credit would have to go to Fred Seibert. After putting MTV on the map with a series of unforgettable, no-two-alike animated ID spots, he took over the creatively exhausted Hanna-Barbera studio and engineered a turnaround that brought some of the country’s most innovative young animators to its doors. Their creations — The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo and others — put Cartoon Network on the map. Moving onto an association with Nickelodeon, Fred midwifed second batch of creator-driven cartoons including Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Fanboy and Chum Chum and The Fairly Oddparents; Frederator Studios’ latest series, the surreal Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is a major Cartoon Network success.
On March 15th Fred sits down with animation journalist Joe Strike for the latest in Joe’s “Interview with an Animator” conversation series. Fred will share the secrets of his success, offer his perspective on the current state of TV cartoons and what the toons of tomorrow might look like.
Joe Strike has written about animation for The Daily News, Newsday, New York Press and is a regular contributor to the entertainment industry website Animation World Network (awn.com). He has taught Mass Communications at St. John’s University in New York City, scripted for the Nickelodeon series Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, adapted anime scripts into English and worked on the children’s TV series The Great Space Coaster and Pee-wee’s Playhouse. As Senior Producer of the Sci-Fi Channel’s promotion department, Joe created programming featuring celebrities like Stan Lee, animator Ralph Bakshi and the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000.