Saturday, March 01, 2008

An Afternoon Remembering

Art Leonardi's display for Warren Batchelder, Alberto De Mello and Tom O'louglin at the Lasky barn.

"Life is but a brief interval in between two Great Infinities"* -- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

The '08 memorial for artists, actors and others from the animation industry who passed on last year happened at the Lasky barn earlier today. There was a bushel of stories and recollections about the departed, and the way various things used to be ...

And here's a closer look at the Warners Bros. Animation crew, circa 1965. Feel free to i.d. anyone you recognize.

Dean Yeagle recalled how Jack Zander gave him some advice after Yeagle took midday nap at his animation desk:

"Next time, try not to fall asleep with your face on the disk. You won't get animation peg indentations on your forehead" ...

I pointed out that Ed Hansen -- the administrative head of Disney Animation in the early eighties -- is responsible for the shape of a lot of the industry today because he fired John Lasseter in '83 ... and thereby set a lot of new and different wheels in motion.

Tom Sito, Art Leonardi, and Jerry Eisenberg swap stories about Iwao Takomoto.

Art Leonardi remembered how Iwao Takamoto -- one of the artistic dynamos of Hanna-Barbera for over four decades -- became more than a little concerned when Art discovered that the wide-screen Jetsons feature then being animated overseas was being created in a square television format, not Panavision.

And Jerry Eisenberg reminisced how Iwao honed his youthful artistic skills while in a Nissei internment camp in the Mojave desert during World War II.

Mr. Leonardi's handiwork of Iwao's life and career ...

"When I die I don't want to go to Heaven, I want to go to UPA"* -- Friz Freleng (1906-1995)

"As I lay on the ground, with [the paramedics] working on me, I went to a corner of my mind and looked out on all that was happening. I thought to myself, this doesn't feel so bad. It feels kinda good. So what's the big damn deal? I came back, but ever since then, I'm no longer afraid."* -- Shamus Culhane (1908-1996).

"Well, what did you expect? TWO HUNDRED?"* -- Myron "Grim" Natwick (1890-1990) to a visitor as he lay dying in a hospital bed, age 100.

* from "An Afternoon of Remembrance" program.


Steve Hulett said...

Okay, I'll start. That's Friz Freleng standing in the middle. Background artist Tom O'Loughlin is the one labelled "Tom". The Mrs. and I are arguing over whether that's Bill Melendez standing at the left.

It looks like Bill to me. But my bride used to work for him, and swears it can't be since he doesn't have a buzz cut.

Dave Mackey said...

I just happened on this post a few weeks ago and took another look at the WB crew shot... bottom row, third from left is probably Art Leonardi. Top row, third from right might be Warren Batchelder. I am not sure because I'm sure Leonardi would have pointed him out in the picture too, being one of those honored that day.

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