Nancy Cartwright Chats with Andrea Romano -- Part 2
Andrea Romano has been a staple of TV animation since the '80s, working at Hanna-Barbera and then on the Smurfs, among others, before segueing into the '90s with Batman, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Superman and more; and then, most recently, on Justice League, Teen Titans, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Superman/Doomsday, Batman: Gotham Knight, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight and Ben 10: Alien Force.
AR: I was at Hanna-Barbara for 5 ½ years approximately and that's where I met you, which is one of the joys of my life and I remember you telling me years and years ago, "Andrea, I don't know…You want me to do this boy voice and I don't know if I can do little boy voices. I always think of myself as the cute little-girl voice." And I said, "Nancy, I know you can do it." I remember it being like Popeye or something.
NC: Oh yeah! It was Woody in Popeye and Son!
AR: Oh good, you remember the character name and I remember going "Oh, Nancy! You can do this!" and you, of course, fell into it like nothing and then you career just went crazy after that! So wonderful to watch you grow.
NC: Well, you called me in for everything. You were very, very loyal.
AR: I always did, I could see it. I knew where you were going.
NC: It was a different time though wasn't it?
AR: It was a different time. There were only a handful of people doing this work. It was a simpler time in many ways and yet, it was more complex when we think about our technology now and how easy it is…we go to an ADR cue that's at time code 10 minutes thirteen seconds 15 frames-- we go right to it. Back then we would have to roll through the reel all the way to get to that so there are certain things that are easier now because of technology, but there is a simpler mentality about cartoons.
There were really no mean-spirited cartoons then and with the exception of the cartoons like the classic Warner Bros., Looney Tunes and Jay Ward cartoons they were mostly made for kids. There was not really much concern about broadcast standards because of trying to push the envelope. We were making children's shows -- Smurfs, you know.
So I was at Hanna-Barbara for 5 ½ years when Disney approached me and said we're going to create a division of Disney called Disney TV Animation and we are going to do a series called Duck Tales. We are going to audition five different directors (at this time I was just a casting director) and they asked if I would come in and audition by directing an episode. They were doing 65 episodes and that was a huge number -- usually things were ordered in 13 episodes.
It was also the time of merchandising when some of the cartoons were simply 22-minute commercials to sell the toys. So they were going to take the first five episodes and had five different directors before making a decision as to who was going to make the rest of the 60 episodes. I was apparently the 2nd director that came in to audition and after I finished they said they weren't even going to see the other three people. They wanted me.
NC: Wow! Very well done!