Steven Paul Leiva’s “Top Ten Funniest Hollywood Cartoons Of All Time” Heading To L.A.’s Pomona Fox Theater

Animation veteran Steven Paul Leiva is reviving his show The Top Ten Funniest Hollywood Cartoons Of All Time!! for an event at Los Angeles’ Pomona Fox Theater on Sunday, March 4th. The event, hosted by the Friends of the Pomona Fox, is set to start at 2pm with tickets priced at $8 for Adults and $3 for Children 12 and under. In addition to showcasing these ten cartoons, Leiva will also be talking to animation Roger Allers (The Lion King) and animator Mark Dindal (The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Groove).

This program was originally produced by Steven Paul Leiva in 1991 for the Montreal Juste pour Rire/Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. The ten films were chosen by a panel of expert advisers through a polling of their personal choices. Levia stated, “Although I came up with the idea of producing this show – and am happy to take all credit for it – I turned over the actual choosing of the ten films to a panel of expert advisers through a polling of their personal choices, thus deflecting all the blame to them. So if you don’t like or agree with any or all of the films on the list, you go talk to Martin Scorsese!”

The program will include a screening of the 10 cartoons with commentary and a conversation between Leiva and Roger Allers, codirector of The Lion King, storyboard artist on The Little Mermaid and winner of the Tony Award for writing the Broadway adaptation of the film and director of the upcoming animated feature based on Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, on the influence of these classic shorts on the renaissance of animation features that started with The Little Mermaid and continues to this day. They may be joined by other top talents in animation to be announced.

The original advisers Leiva asked to choose the 10 cartoons were: Martin Scorsese, director Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, King of Comedy, and this year’s winner of the Golden Globe for best direction  for Hugo; Joe Dante, director Gremlins, Gremlins II, and Looney Tunes Back in Action; Paul Fusco, television producer/writer/director and creator of Alf; Chuck Jones – Three time Academy Award winning creator of the Coyote and Road Runner; co-creator of Bugs Bunny; Mike Lah, Animator on the Tom and Jerry shorts; Shamus Cullhane, Animator of such characters as Popeye, Betty Boop, and Disney’s Pinocchio. Cordell Baker, director of Academy Award nominee The Cat Came Back; Richard Williams, animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Academy Award winning director of A Christmas Carol (1971); Darrell Van Citters, director of 1990’s Box Office Bunny, at the time the first new theatrical Bugs Bunny short in years; Rebecca Rees, directing animator on The Brave Little Toaster, writer on Aladdin; Kelly Asbury, director, Gnomeo & Juliet, Shrek 2; John Musker, co-director The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast; Michael Giamio, production designer of Box Office Bunny, art director for Disney’s Pocahontas; Mark Kausler, animator at Disney Animation, animation historian; Jay Cocks – Writer screenwriter Gangs of New York, Age of Innocence; Stefan Kanfer, author/critic, senior arts editor for Time Magazine; Tom Shales, Pulitzer Prize winning television critic for the Washington Post; John Canemaker, animator and animation historian biographer; Tom Kenny – Standup comic, the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants; Richard Belzer – Standup comic, author, actor, regular on Law & Order SVU; Robin Budd, director on the animated Beetlejuice; Brad Caslor, director of Get a Job and creator of Bob Dog.

The 10 chosen cartoons are:

  • One Froggy Evening (Chuck Jones—Warner Bros.)
  • Bad Luck Blackie (Tex Avery—MGM)
  • Duck Amuck (Chuck Jones—Warner Bros.)
  • Red Hot Riding Hood (Tex Avery—MGM)
  • Bear For Punishment (Chuck Jones—Warner Bros.)
  • Birds Anonymous (Friz Freleng—Warner Bros.)
  • The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (Bob Clampett—Warner Bros.)
  • Quiet Please (Hanna-Barbera—MGM)
  • King Size Canary (Tex Avery—MGM)
  • The Clock Cleaners (Ben Sharpsteen—Disney).

When asked why he had decided to choose the 10 Funniest Hollywood Cartoons of All Time, Leiva responded, “Comedy! Comedy, folks, is what Hollywood animation has always been about. Comedy! Not — really, I swear this is true — not fairy tales or furry tails, but comedy!”

On the success of the original program, he further stated, “On opening night we had a line around the block to get in and a full house. The show was so popular, the Rialto Theater ran it for three weeks after the festival was over.”