Chapter 15A: Terrytoonery
Ralph Bakshi. During my time at TT, Ralph was the lowest of the lowly, a minor cel painter, and not a very good one. But in the democratic studio atmosphere I was creating, he took full advantage of his right to nose around, ask questions, and put in his opinions. He had a lot of brass and a lot of moxie. I began to notice that he was always tailing me around, trying to learn everything that was going on. Almost immediately after I left, Weiss tagged him as a potential replacement for me, and the rest is history. Ralph really shot up the ladder, and became the enfant terrible of the animation world.
My fondest memory from Terrytoons was the excitement of having such a neat job - the chance to do something big, trying to remold a studio with the worst possible reputation, having the 20th Century-Fox CinemaScope release, having the chance to create new characters, having so many people working on concepts that I was creating and directing, developing an entire new way of doing soundtracks for animation movies, with the help of Tod Dockstader. He was not only a terrific artist and gagman, but a genius sound man.. All of this great fun blinded me to the realities...
I was out of Terrytoons about May, 1958, and was then present at the birth of a new studio in Manhattan, with the intriguing name, Gene Deitch Associates, Inc.