There is a man in New York that has thousands of hours of early telivision collected in a warehouse. He rents footage for the commercila business. I'm sure he has the Howdy Doody film you're looking for. I'll see if I can dig up his name.
Thanz for the wonderful stories.
CraigBy:Craig Frank (not verified)
- This kind of political correctness is bound to happen more often, as larger and larger conglomerates start producing our entertainment, news and other media. If Warner Brothers Animation were still a fairly small entity, a few people in charge could decide to take a chance with the Bugs cartoons running unedited. But this is now AOL Time Warner, who can't afford to upset anyone in even a slight matter. Also, decisions like this have to go through many layers of hierarchy, any part of which can protest the decision. We can always hope for the best, that something wonderful will come about despite the committees, the lawyers and the executives without courage. And sometimes the best occurs. But it's still the minor players, the small companies, and the individuals with powerful computers and lots of time to produce shows that are the real hope of creative entertainment. It's worth hunting such creators in the small film festivals and science fiction/fantasy conventions. Unlike the folks at official film festivals, people showing at small shows aren't hoping to snag that marvelous high-paying job with King Kong Konglomerate Films - they just want to make movies.By:Thomas E. Reed (not verified)
I was thrilled to read your comments on the Jam Handy Organization. I may be one of the handful few of people nearly 50 who were the last to work there. Your comments about the "order" and conservatism there was consistent up until their demise. This contributed to the archaic and lackluster attitude when I first started there 34 years ago. They were doing what I thought was an ugly imitation of the type of design work that you had been doing 15 years before.
The department head then was Bob Kennedy. He was very parternal and encouraging to me, and ended up being a close friend. I also sensed that he was under a tremendous amount of pressure to keep the department going and still some enthusiam. I believe that is why he took a personal interest in the first things that I had done at home, which landed me my first job. This is a story of my own, worthy of a book. But the amazinging thing is that I had attracted a crowd in the big camera room where I was projecting my films synchonized to a tape recorder. When the lights came on, I was introduced to Frank Goldman and his best friend, Max Fleischer! It was Max who remarded to Kennedy, "see about hiring this kid."
It was shortly after that, Max was living at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California, where he died in 1972.By:Ray Pointer (not verified)
"So it was just another failure..." TOM TERRIFIC? Never. That sentence cannot stand. Not in ANY context. Granted, in a just world, the character would be referred to as "Gene Deitch's TOM TERRIFIC," and Mr. Deitch would be receiving royalties from Viacom's extensive but tasteful exploitation and licensing of the character in new cartoons, vidcassettes, dvds, t-shirts, graphic novels and off-broadway musical. Believe me, though the world seems to be run by the descendents of Bill Weiss and Crabby Appleton, TOM TERRIFIC was no failure. Not possible. No way. I mean no disrespect, but please delete the sentence; it is misleading, offensive and disturbing in its inaccuracy.By:B. Baker (not verified)
- The disclaimer of the Cartoon Network says it all:"Cartoon Network does not endorse the use of racial slurs. These vintage cartoons are presented as representative of the time in which they were created and are presented for their historical value." Considering the ban, all live action films showing bad red commis, and any other racist/political/sexual stereotypes should be banned from TV... same with violence.By:Norm Rompre (not verified)
- I think we need to be left to make up our own minds, but presenting the so-called Dirty Dozen in some sort of historical context might be necessary. They did this on the "ToonHeads" show by presenting clips of cartoons from World War II; the narrator mentioned the use of stereotype may not seem funny by today's standards, but that's how it was Way Back Then. Show the Dirty Dozen with similar narration at the beginning. To deny the viewing public these important cartoons is denying history and insulting their intelligence by not letting them decide for themselves what is/isn't funny. (And I'll go on record that "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarves"is my favorite Bob Clampett Warner Bros. toon!)By:Andy Dunn (not verified)
"Much of it is children's films, tucked into cozy little school libraries, and of virtually no interest to animation film buff historians." No interest? It's little things like this that interest me, and I'm not even a historian! The smaller and more obscure, the better, I say.By:Andy Dunn (not verified)
- Dr. Toon wrote: "Let the Twelve be shown again, but with the sensitivity, consideration, and intelligence needed to portray a regrettable part of our past history. I believe we can handle it." It's this mentality of calling this humor regrettable that further makes it impossible to see these shorts. Ethnic humor is a staple of comedy, as time-honored as the pie-in-the-face, and it will remain in the comedian's arsenal for as long as comedy exists. Some of the humor may be crass by our modern day standards, but is it any more crass than the caricatures of Indian people (from India) on THE SIMPSONS. Fifty years from now, we may find it very unacceptable to make light of Indian immigrants working for low wages at 24-hour mini-marts, but I hardly think it would be fair to then call THE SIMPSONS a regrettable part of our past history. Sensitivity to all cultures is an impossibility in whatever age you're living in. There's always going to be some groups of people that'll be caricatured excessively. People need to lighten up and accept it for what it was meant to be - the comedy of a certain period. But it's hypocritical to criticize the past so vehemently when we create equally harsh ethnic humor in modern times (only we've replaced the blacks and Jap with more "acceptable" cultures for parody).By:Amid Amidi (not verified)
- Christ, you all seem to have some kind of problem, including the pimp, i was amazed by this film. Ok, I agree that its not perfect, it has lack of content and gets proud showing FALSE MORALE and stuff. But its about the first animated feature that gets off the naging lovefull, cute stuff, i mean the hero is an anti-hero, and it has courage when the princes doesnt turn beautifull, i mean, everybody was expecting the oposite, i think it is nice to break that scheme for once. About the marriage, fundamentalist you are all, i myself dont like the marriage tradition, and i dont wanna do such thing as marry, but some people live nicely within a marriage, so let it be, besides, i dont think the porpuse of showing the marriage scene at the end is publicity for marriage, christ that kind of interpretation seems as feminist extortion, and well the message remains, we are a generation that doesnt like marriage, we saw all of our families go trough terrible stuff, bue there still the need for relationships in all of us, so, a relationship can be good even if people is digerent, even if they are ugly, so stop wining and get a little real. And if you all are so worryed and shocked by how the movie spreads a message, well be quiet and do a movie yourselfs, that way you can comunicate what you thing, and other people will be able to throw sh8t at you all.By:e monja (not verified)
- I was hurrying through the entertainment section of the New York times and just got a glimpse of an ad for Shrek. Looking at it I realized that in all the ads they use the HOT princess. Now of course...the producers would argue that they don't want to spoil the picture...but we all know it's nonsense... No uglytubbies aloud I guess.By:Animation Pimp (not verified)
I was four years old when TOM TERRIFIC premiered on CAPTAIN KANGAROO, and I thouroughly loved it.
The cleaver stories with verbal puns and the lessons in problem solveing using imagination were life lessons that I have carried on into adulthood.
I knew Fred Crippen from Detroit, and still worked with him on occaision. Your description of him 50 years still applies today. He is a diamond in the ruff with a heart of gold.
I am particularly intersted in your time spent at Jam Handy. I came along there 15 years later when they were on their last legs. The Production Manager, Bob Kennedy spoke of you often. I believe your influence there improved their product tremendously, and your absence there by my time was greatly felt.By:Ray Pointer (not verified)
- Thank Goddess for someone with the balls to say exactly what I felt after seeing Shrek! As a female, I had such high expectations that this play on fairytales would have a female lead that kicked a**! Besides belching and not being able to sing, it's the same old, same old. She needs someone else to tell her she's beautiful, she still meets her knight in shining armor, he still saves her and she still ends up tying the knot! BORING!!By:Rosa Bud (not verified)
I LOVED Tom Terrific.
This is important stuff. Keep up the good work. It's very important to hear about someone working on the East Coast (and in your case, EXTREMELy far East) and doing something other than feature animation...great job.By:Nancy Beiman (not verified)
- So, tell me again, how did a critique of a movie turn into irrational Christian and marriage bashing? Man, the millenia speak loudly, and they speak against the senseless drivel this article espouses...we went through this argument in the '60s already, and are living with the consequences - fragmented and disillusioned generations because of this, "free love"-type *propoganda*. This is coming from the child of 2 generations of divorcees who's making it sure it won't happen in his own marriage. Let's get back to discussing animation...By:Travis Cutbirth (not verified)
- Thank God somebody else feels the same, re. Shrek. I'm tired of big name actors used to pull an audience in. Was I the only one who thought the story was less than great. The animation was fab in parts, one can't deny the work or give the artists credit but the story, please! What's with the princess? Why didn't the ugly get the cutie? Now before every body gets wobbly judex is my only name no last name. Thats it.By:Jude X (not verified)
Gene - if your "overriding goal was to reinvent Terrytoons, to create a new reputation, to win the support of the disgruntled staff, to revise, where practical, films in production, without interrupting workflow", it seems to me, by virtue of the existing films, that you succeeded!
It's fascinating to read about your experiences, at Terry in particular, as your films were certainly noticed for their bold stylistic innovations.
A couple of questions:
Did any of your old UPA co-workers (or John Hubley) comment on your Terrytoons at the time?
Any interaction with that young whipper-snapper Ralph Bakshi?
Did you ever get to know old timers Connie Rasinski or Jim Tyer (to name only two) well?
What was your relationship with Phil Eastman? Did he work at the studio?
Do you still have proofs (or stats or clippings) of the TERRIBLE THOMPSON comic strip?By:Jerry Beck (not verified)
I think you are being too hard on yourself, Gene. Tom Terrific was, well, a terrific character. The style, the voices, the music--it all worked. While I was never a big fan of Clint Clobber or Gaston Le Crayon, the cartoons were stylistically ingenious for their time.
As for Paul Terry, I hope you have more stories about him. He appears to be an amazing individual. Anyone who can produce cartoons by measuring the stack of drawings with a ruler must truly be an animation genius! : )By:Steve Sherman (not verified)
- In (part) reply to the Animation Pimp, why oh why, do we have to put up with all those 'cute 'n cuddly' lickle aminules that you Americans seem to put into everything you do? Life would be soooo much NICER if you just didn't bother puttin' 'em in! Can't think of which one I mean? Howsabout Scooby doo, The Simpsons (at least the dog doesn't 'speak') and of course 'Shrek' to name but a few - in fact if you go back a few years, just about every Ha-Ba 'toon you could ever name. Love yer WSite tho' Keep it up Spike (Terry Verney)By:Terry Verney (not verified)
Reply from Gene: Reader Scott Galley asked me to tell more about what it was like to work with Grim Natwick. Good idea, but I've been trying to keep this book from running on and on - just outlining the key events as I recalled them. I'm hoping some of my old staff who are still around will remind me of important stuff I may have forgotten. About Grim, I have to smile from my 77th year, and say that my first impression of Grim, when I first saw him, (and I have to confess I'd never actually heard of him at the time), was, "My gosh, why did Steve send me this old man?" Grim may have been in his 60s then! It didn't take long for me to get the answer! Grim was always laconic, and never said much. He just drawled a bit in a Minnesota way. I had a hard time getting him to talk about himself, or much of anything at first. It took a while to develop a warm relationship. After all, I was just a kid, playing at being the master's boss! The main thing he did was to produce great animation, and made me look very good! The UPA-NY staff member who benefitted the most from working in the same room with Grim was Duane Crowther. They became close friends, and Duane and his wife Cathy helped care for Grim until the end.By:Gene Deitch (not verified)
Have been looking foward to this chapter most of all, and can honestly say, it was well worth the wait. Those years in New York sound facinating. It would be interesting to have a little more information on what it was like to work with animation legend, Grim Natwick, included.
ScottBy:Scott Galley (not verified)