Tom Sito, June Foray and Bob Basler.
You wouldn't think that in an industry as wacky and creative as animation, the word "politics" would come up in conversation. I had a chance to talk with several animation types who have been involved with politics on and/or off the job: Tom Sito, DreamWorks animator and President of the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Union (Local 839 IATSE), June Foray, famed voice talent who instigated the famous nationwide meat boycott in the US back in 1973, and Bob Basler, President of Europe's Cartoon project.
Tom Sito's top 10 picks...
"I never set out to become a labor leader, just being a good animator was plenty for me. Now that I've been prez for awhile I'm flattered by the trust other artists place in me--and by the knowledge that I'm following in the footsteps of great animators who also fought for artists' rights like Chuck Jones, Art Babbit and Bill Melendez. My proudest moment was a little comment made to me while kibitzing with a top animator on Space Jam. As I was walking away he said: "Yo, Tom, keep taking care of us."
1. Northwest Hounded Police by Tex Avery 2. The Great Piggyback Robbery by Bob Clampett 3. The Man Who Planted Trees by Frédéric Back 4. "Night on Bald Mountain" from Fantasia by Walt Disney 5. Stimpy's Invention by John K. 6. One Froggy Evening by Chuck Jones 7. The Good Fight, a documentary about radical volunteers in the Spanish Civil War by Noel Buckner 8. The Duelists by Ridley Scott 9. The Civil War by Ken Burns 10. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
"Having been chairman of the Short Films branch, current chair of the Student Academy Awards at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and attending animation Festivals from Zagreb, Annecy, London, Hiroshima to points in between, I've viewed thousands of films. How could I possibly select only 10? Heaven help me, I've tried. A couple were easy, forgive me, 'cuz I'm in them. I'd hate to be stranded on a desert island, unless it were Hawaii, but I'd certainly enjoy seeing these films over and over until rescued".
1. The Mighty River by Frédéric Back 2. Rocky and Bullwinkle by Jay Ward/Bill Scott 3. Creature Comforts by Nick Park 4. One Froggy Evening by Chuck Jones 5. Bad Luck Blackie by Tex Avery 6. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Chuck Jones 7. George and Rosemary Alison Snowden & David Fine 8. Georgia by Jimmy Picker 9. What's Opera Doc? by Chuck Jones 10. The Man Who Planted Trees by Frédéric Back
Bob E. Basler picks...
"After leaving Hollywood in 1959, I worked in animation studios in Denmark, helped set up and teach animation in Finland, and since have been working in Madrid, Spain, and in my own studio, Pegbar Productions, in Barcelona, producing and directing film for Spain, Europe and the U.S. (The Lion, The Witch, The Wardrobe, Peanuts, Fang Face etc.). During that time I also worked in London, co-directing The Yellow Submarine and the Jackson 5 TV series. I recently closed the studio in Barcelona, and just returned from two months in Cairo, doing consulting work for several animation and computer graphics companies. Politically, I was vice president of ASIFA for many years, and for the past eight years I have been president of CARTOON, the animation section of the European Community MEDIA program".
1. All of Frédéric Back's films (Crac!, The Man Who Planted Trees) 2. Pinocchio by Walt Disney 3. Tale of Tales by Yuri Norstein 4. The Black Dog and Cafe Bar by Alison Devere 5. All of Norman McLaren films 6. A group of classic MGM shorts 7. A group of classic Warner Bros. shorts 8. A group of Aardman Animations films 9. A group of Canadian Film Board films 10 The Yellow Submarine and a selection of films I have made so that I can remember the wonderful people with whom I have worked and relive some of those special experiences!