Animation


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

The first successful, designed-for-television cartoon was not created for a TV network, but rather was released directly into syndication. Crusader Rabbit, created by Jay Ward (of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) and Alexander Anderson, was first distributed in 1949. Network television cartooning came along eight years later. The networks' first cartoon series was The Ruff and Reddy Show, which was developed by the most successful producers of television cartoons, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. The Ruff and Ready Show was also the first made-for-TV cartoon show to be broadcast nationally on Saturday mornings; its popularity helped established the feasibility of Saturday morning network programming. Hanna-Barbera was also responsible for bringing cartoons to the prime-time network schedule--though its success in prime-time did not result in a trend. Hanna-Barbera's The Flintstones (1960) was prime-time's first successful cartoon series. It was also prime-time's last successful series until the premiere of The Simpsons in 1989.

TV cartoons in the 1990s were dominated by the phenomenal success of Matt Groening's The Simpsons, which thrived after its series premiere in 1989 (first appearing in 1988, in short form, on The Tracey Ullman Show). Its ratings triumph was largely responsible for establishing a new television network (FOX) and launching one of the biggest merchandising campaigns of the decade. In 1990, Bart Simpson was on T-shirts across the U.S. declaring, "Don't have a cow, man!" And yet, despite the trappings of success, The Simpsons was often a sly parody of popular culture, in general, and television cartoons, in particular--as was to be expected from Groening, who established himself as the artist of the "Life in Hell" comic strip. The recurrent feature of "The Itchy and Scratchy Show," a cartoon within The Simpsons, allowed the program to critique violence in cartoons at the same time it reveled in it. And in one episode, The Simpsons retold the entire history of cartooning as if "Itchy and Scratchy" had been early Disney creations.

Highlights
Chuck Jones on "Bugs Bunny's" catch phrase "What's up, doc?"
Fred Silverman on developing the long-running Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and on solving initial network resistance to the "scary" concept of kids in a haunted house by centering on a goofy dog
June Foray on the longevity of The Bullwinkle Show
Alex Anderson on bringing Crusader Rabbit to television 
Yeardley Smith on Michael Jackson guest starring on The Simpsons
Who talked about this genre

Alex Anderson

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Alex Anderson on animating Crusader Rabbit (Part 1)
Alex Anderson on Crusader Rabbit (Part 2)
Alex Anderson on animating Crusader Rabbit (Part 3)
Alex Anderson on The Bullwinkle Show (Part 1)
Alex Anderson on The Bullwinkle Show (Part 2)

Hank Azaria

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Hank Azaria on playing various characters on The Simpsons
Hank Azaria on playing various characters on The Simpsons (Part 2)

Rick Baker

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Rick Baker on his first job, working at Clokey Studios; on stop-motion animation; on working on Davey and Goliath

Joseph Barbera

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Joseph Barbera on creating The Ruff & Reddy Show
Joseph Barbera on The Huckleberry Hound Show and The Yogi Bear Show
Joseph Barbera on producing limited animation, and on the then-current state of animation on television
Joseph Barbera on the creation and sale of The Flintstones, and on basing the show on The Honeymooners
Joseph Barbera on the creation of Top Cat, and on the workload at Hanna-Barbera in the 1960s
Joseph Barbera on the longevity of his partnership with William Hanna, and on the creation of "Pebbles Flintstone" on The Flintstones
Joseph Barbera on how the film studios reacted to television animators, on the differences between film and television animation, and on casting voices for shows like Hong Kong Phooey
Joseph Barbera on casting voices for Top Cat
Joseph Barbera on the creation of The Jetsons
Joseph Barbera on the creation of Jonny Quest
Joseph Barbera on the creation of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Joseph Barbera on the then-current state of animation on television, and on the changing technology of animation
Joseph Barbera on the then-future of animation on television, and how animators are trained
Joseph Barbera on producing the ABC Afterschool Special "Cyrano"
Joseph Barbera on producing The Smurfs

Barbara Billingsley

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Barbara Billingsley on voicing "Nanny" on Jim Henson's Muppet Babies

Lucille Bliss

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Lucille Bliss on the creation of the animated show Crusader Rabbit by Jay Ward and Alex Anderson
Lucille Bliss on production on and the characters of the animated show Crusader Rabbit
Lucille Bliss on the popularity, recording, and legacy of the animated show Crusader Rabbit
Lucille Bliss on getting the role of "Smurfette" on The Smurfs
Lucille Bliss on the premise and plot of The Smurfs and on the show's theme song and popularity
Lucille Bliss on her character "Smurfette" on The Smurfs; on her favorite episodes, a typical production week, and the popularity of the show
Lucille Bliss on voice actors on The Smurfs; on the end of the series
Lucille Bliss on voicing a character on Invader ZIM

Allan Burns

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Allan Burns on interviewing at animation companies
Allan Burns on working on The Bullwinkle Show and promotions for the show and other Jay Ward Productions

Nancy Cartwright

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Nancy Cartwright on coming in to audition for "Lisa Simpson" of The Simpsons, then part of The Tracey Ullman Show, and leaving with the role of "Bart Simpson"
Nancy Cartwright on The Simpsons
Nancy Cartwright on winning Emmys for, castmates of, and the legacy of The Simpsons

Alf Clausen

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Alf Clausen on composing music and recording for The Simpsons (Part 1)
Alf Clausen on composing and recording for The Simpsons (Part 2)
Alf Clausen on composing and recording music for The Simpsons (Part 3)

Art Clokey

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Art Clokey on animated TV advertising campaigns he did for Coca-Cola
Art Clokey on creating and producing Gumby
Art Clokey on creating and producing Gumby
Art Clokey on creating and producing Davey and Goliath
Art Clokey on creating and producing Davey and Goliath
Art Clokey on the cultural impact of Gumby and its various returns
Art Clokey on later incarnations of Gumby and its legacy

Greg Daniels

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Greg Daniels on writing for The Simpsons
Greg Daniels on writing and being showrunner on King of the Hill

John Debney

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John Debney on composing for animation, including The Flintstones and Scooby Doo

Roy E. Disney

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Roy E. Disney on the formative years of the Disney company
Roy Disney on realizing the power of animation when seeing a rough scene from Snow White
Roy Disney on becoming the head of Walt Disney Animation and some of the projects and technologies produced during his tenure
Roy Disney on his preference for feature animation as opposed to animation for television

Dorothy Fontana

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Dorothy Fontana on being associate producer of Star Trek: The Animated Series

June Foray

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June Foray on meeting Jay Ward and voicing "Rocky" and "Natasha" on The Bullwinkle Show
June Foray on getting hired on Bugs Bunny to voice "Witch Hazel," and working with director Chuck Jones (and demonstrates voice)
June Foray on voicing "Rocky" and "Natasha" on The Bullwinkle Show
June Foray on voicing "Jokey" on The Smurfs
June Foray on being a favorite of Chuck Jones who cast her as "Cindy Lou Who" in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Ron Friedman

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Ron Friedman on creating and writing G.I. Joe and The Transformers
Ron Friedman on writing for Marvel Action Universe and on creating Bionic Six
Ron Friedman on the legacy of his animation work, specifically G.I. Joe and The Transformers

Chuck Fries

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Chuck Fries on Screen Gems producing The Flintstones  created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Jonathan Harris

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Jonathan Harris on doing various cartoon voice-overs, including for the series Freakazoid!

David Isaacs

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Ken Levine and David Isaacs on writing for The Simpsons

Al Jean

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Al Jean on writing for and becoming a showrunner on The Simpsons
Al Jean on writing and being showrunner on The Simpsons
Al Jean on writing and being showrunner on The Simpsons
Al Jean on creating and writing The Critic

Chuck Jones

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Chuck Jones on the creation of "Daffy Duck" and how "Bugs Bunny" got his name
Chuck Jones on the difference between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
Chuck Jones on the creation of Daffy Duck
Chuck Jones on How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Chuck Jones on 1971's Bugs Bunny show

Stan Lee

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Stan Lee on his involvement with the animated series Spider-Man and other cartoons
Stan Lee on creating an animated television series

Ken Levine

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Ken Levine and David Isaacs on writing for The Simpsons

Margaret Loesch

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Margaret Loesch on projects she wishes would have worked out and didn't during her time at Hanna Barbera
Margaret Loesch on what she learned about animation from Friz Freleng
Margaret Loesch on developing and selling The Smurfs
Margaret Loesch on working on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, and developing other shows at Hanna-Barbera
Margaret Loesch on developing The Gary Coleman Show
Margaret Loesch on developing the animated version of Fraggle Rock with Jim Henson
Margaret Loesch on developing G.I. Joe and The Transformers
Margaret Loesch on developing Jem and My Little Pony with girls in mind
Margaret Loesch on the legacy of the X-Men series

Chuck Lorre

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Chuck Lorre on what he learned from working in animation

Bill Melendez

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Bill Melendez on drawing the Warner Bros. characters (for theatrical short subjects and later re-purposed for The Bugs Bunny Show)
Bill Melendez on animating the Charlie Brown Specials
Bill Melendez on animating the Charlie Brown Specials
Bill Melendez on animating the Charlie Brown Specials
Bill Melendez on animating The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
Bill Melendez on producing two Garfield Specials
Bill Melendez on producing The Cathy Specials
Bill Melendez on producing Frosty Returns

Lee Mendelson

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Lee Mendelson on producing A Charlie Brown Christmas
Lee Mendelson on producing the Charlie Brown Specials
Lee Mendelson on The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show
Lee Mendelson on This is America, Charlie Brown
Lee Mendelson on producing Garfield
Lee Mendelson on producing The Cathy Specials, based on the comic strip by Cathy Guisewite
Lee Mendelson on then-current projects, including producing new Charlie Brown Specials, and on working with the Charles M. Schulz estate

Howard Morris

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Howard Morris on doing voiceover work for Hanna-Barbera for shows like The Jetsons and The Flintstones

Carroll Pratt

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Carroll Pratt on the challenge of providing laugh tracks for animated series

Phil Roman

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Phil Roman on the animation style at Walt Disney Studios

Thomas W. Sarnoff

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Thomas W. Sarnoff on being "Gumby's godfather" and negotiating deals to bring Gumby to TV  

Sam Simon

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Sam Simon on producing and writing The Simpsons

Yeardley Smith

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Yeardley Smith on her voice, auditioning for "Lisa Simpson," and why she doesn't do other characters on The Simpsons
Yeardley Smith on The Simpsons
Yeardley Smith on The Simpsons

Ted Turner

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Ted Turner on purchasing Hanna-Barbera's library and creating the Cartoon Network

Dean Valentine

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Dean Valentine on reinventing ABC's Saturday morning lineup in the 1990s

Alan Young

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Alan Young on voicing characters in the animated series The Smurfs