Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Sam Ewing Interview -- Part II

TAG Interview with Sam Ewing

Find all TAG Interviews on the TAG website at this link

Mr. Ewing spent the larger part of a decade working at Hanna-Barbera, then left to take a job at Saban ...

Mr. Ewing says Saban (and Saban International) was an interesting place to work.

Haim Saban was always completely upfront about the way he paid his people: "When you come to work for me, I'm not going to pay you very much. You have to work and prove yourself. But after you've shown that you can make me money, I'll pay you more. Pay you a lot more."

Mr. Ewing worked as a producer of Saban animated shows and as a Vice-President of Internation productions. When Saban was sold to Disney, he elected not to stay with the Mouse but move on to fresh fields of endeavor.


Christopher Sobieniak said...

I think the music video Sam was trying to remember that Michael Jackson did was "Black or White". The morphing sequence was a small section of the video that occurs just at the end of the song itself (but before the controversial portion of the video itself).

It certainly seemed like NBC was in a rut when they were optioning more Flintstones cartoons perhaps to counteract ABC's reliance on Scooby-Doo at the time, but it was pretty obvious how much all of it seemed so overdone and contrite.

It's amazing I forgot all of that happened, but then I was still a pre-schooler so it was all a blur! The Shmoo himself of course was a creation of Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, though before getting stuck in Bedrock with Fred and Barney as cops, he was stuck in a Scooby-Doo clone of his very own! Not bad for one of the last things Capp bothered to license his character to before his death (I wonder if the show killed him).

It's true of the Smurfs having had those books out for several decades before the NBC show came about (mostly a European phenomena at that point also thanks to a series of recorded songs released as LP's and even a animated feature film I loved seeing on the big screen when it got a US release in '83). I suppose that's one point for Fred Silverman after the disaster that was Pink Lady & Jeff. He tried though, at least I'll give him credit for trying to be open-minded to what was happening out there in the world even though Japan is a very small country.

I remember loving what I saw of Foofur in it's first season on NBC and weird they would back away from it entirely until the second season and ruined it, still great to hear Bill Hanna pulled his weight on it. It certainly was a pretty good show in that first season despite the flaws Sam brought up (but then I was probably too use to that on The Smurfs, remembering all the cel painting errors in every episode).

The fact that that Tom & Jerry movie happened at all is really something. Leave it up to forgetfulness to come through! What did get released kinda made me thing of those Dell/Gold Key comics of the past since they never shut up in those!

Interesting to see how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came about, though I'm sure Sam or whoever else involved in the production have heard enough from the fans about it over the years. By the time the show was on I was already in high school and that stuff didn't interest me though the origins of these shows was what turned me more to the Japanese stuff in later years otherwise (there's a big divide over fans of Power Rangers and those that favor the original shows that Toei has done for decades prior, and still continues to this day since it never lets on). I forgot Saban made "original" cartoon themselves since I always associate the name with dubbing/re-editing Japanese cartoons myself (as with most anime fans really). One noteworthy show Saban was involved in bringing over that was somewhat of a cult classic is "Samurai Pizza Cats", involving cats in metal armor doing the typical martial arts stuff while holding jobs at a pizza parlour. Then there's "Digimon", a contender in the "fighting pet" craze of that time started by Pokemon.

I never did see that Oliver Twist show until someone stuck up episodes on YouTube and form what I saw of it, it looked pretty OK (the choice though of using animals for most of the main characters does put it into the fetish interests of the "furry" crowd).

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