Phil Roman

Animator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Phil Roman reminisces about his early interest in art, and his studies in art school before and after World War II. He talks about his first professional job in animation, working for the Walt Disney Studios. He speaks about his subsequent jobs as an animator, working on projects including Calvin and the Colonel and the feature film "The Incredible Mr. Limpet." Next, he describes working for MGM's animation department under Chuck Jones, and his work on projects including Tom and Jerry cartoons, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Horton Hears a Who. Mr. Roman talks about later animating George of the Jungle for Jay Ward. He speaks at length about his years working as an animator and later, director for Bill Melendez Productions on dozens of Charlie Brown specials. Finally, he talks about opening his own company, Film Roman, to produce programs including the Garfield specials, The Simpsons, Bobby's World, and King of the Hill. He also gives a video tour of the Film Roman facilities and the people involved in the production of The Simpsons. Jennifer Howard conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on June 26, 2002.

"Every project has its own identity, its own look, its own feel. I never believed in doing things by formula. You design a project to look a certain way and characters move the way they're designed so every show has its own look. I never wanted a Hanna-Barbera or a Disney look, because all of the sudden, you're limited."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Phil Roman on animating Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas which has become a classic
Phil Roman on the character of "Garfield" the cat on the Garfield Specials voiced by Lorenzo Music
Phil Roman on producing Mike Judge's King of the Hill
Phil Roman on working with Charles Schulz on the Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on June Foray and Boris Karloff doing the voice work for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Phil Roman on his responsibilities as an assistant animator at Disney
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; Phil Roman on studying under Charles M. Schulz; on his experience in the Korean War
On his earliest experiences with television; on going to work as an animator for Disney
On his responsibilities as an assistant animator at Disney; on the rules for drawing Disney characters; on the animators he worked with at Disney

Chapter 2

On meeting Walt Disney, and on being there for opening day of Disneyland; on his decision to leave Disney; on animating commercials after his time with Disney
On doing animation for King Leonardo and His Short Subjects and Calvin and the Colonel; on animating the feature film "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" starring Don Knotts; on working with Chuck Jones who declared Roman not an assistant animator, but an animator
On working with Maurice Noble on Tom and Jerry; on working on Chuck Jones' version of Tom and Jerry; on working on the MGM short subject "The Dot and the Line"
On working on the MGM feature "The Phantom Tollbooth"; on how the animation production schedule differed from theatrical features to television and on dividing up labor; on what strengths he was most known for in his early days as an animator

Chapter 3

On animating Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas which has become a classic; on Chuck Jones' contribution to Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas;
On the scenes he animated in Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas and the challenges they presented; on June Foray and Boris Karloff doing the voice work for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas; on the songs and success of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
On animating Horton Hears a Who! and Mister Magoo; on animating Jay Ward's George of the Jungle; on joining producer Bill Melendez to animate Charlie Brown Specials

Chapter 4

On the process of animating and producing the Charlie Brown Specials with Bill Melendez; on Lee Mendelson's role in producing the Charlie Brown Specials ; on working with Charles Schulz on the Charlie Brown Specials
On the characters and themes of the Charlie Brown Specials ; on his favorite Charlie Brown Specials; on starting his production company Film Roman, and on producing Garfield Specials
On working with "Garfield" creator Jim Davis on the Garfield Specials ; on the character of "Garfield" the cat on the Garfield Specials voiced by Lorenzo Music; on the challenge of running his own production company Film Roman

Chapter 5

On Film Roman selling Howie Mandel's series Bobby's World to Margaret Loesch to FOX and on the process of selling shows to networks; on how Film Roman began to produce The Simpsons; on changes Film Roman made to the animation of The Simpsons when they took over animating the show
On Matt Groening's involvement with the animation of The Simpsons; on the premise and voice actors of The Simpsons; on his personal, day-to-day involvement with The Simpsons , the production process, and the impact the show has had on animation on television; on The Simpsons' popularity with children and adults and on the impact the show has had on animation on television
On the anti-drug Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue; on producing Howie Mandel's Bobby's World cartoon series; on Joseph Barbera

Chapter 6

On various Film Roman animated productions; on producing Mike Judge's King of the Hill
On his decision to resign from Film Roman; on directing Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer and on returning to Film Roman; on then-current projects and winning multiple Emmy Awards
On advice to an aspiring animation producer; on how the animation business has changed since he started, and on the impact of new technologies on animation
On career highlights; on his mentors; on how he'd like to be remembered

Chapter 7

On b-roll footage- pictures from his career- a caricature; Tom and Jerry; cell from The Grinch; animators with their characters; with former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan; with President Carter; Garfield; accepting an Emmy Award; with various animated characters and Friz Freleng; an algebra book that deals with animation;
Shows

Bobby's World

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Phil Roman on producing Howie Mandel's Bobby's World cartoon series

Bruno the Kid

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Phil Roman on producing Bruno the Kid

C-Bear and Jamal

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Phil Roman on producing C-Bear and Jamal

Calvin and the Colonel

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Phil Roman on doing animation for King Leonardo and His Short Subjects and Calvin and the Colonel

Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue

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Phil Roman on the anti-drug Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue

Charlie Brown Specials

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Phil Roman on joining producer Bill Melendez to animate Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on the process of animating and producing the Charlie Brown Specials with Bill Melendez
Phil Roman on Lee Mendelson's role in producing the Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on working with Charles Schulz on the Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on the characters and themes of the Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on his favorite Charlie Brown Specials

Critic, The

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Phil Roman on producing and animating The Critic starring Jon Lovitz

Cro

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Phil Roman on producing the PBS series Cro

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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Phil Roman on animating Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas which has become a classic
Phil Roman on Chuck Jones' contribution to Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Phil Roman on Dr. Seuss' involvement in the animated Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Phil Roman on the scenes he animated in Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas and the challenges they presented
Phil Roman on June Foray and Boris Karloff doing the voice work for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Phil Roman on the songs and success of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Phil Roman on winning multiple Emmys

Garfield Specials

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Phil Roman on starting his production company Film Roman, and on producing Garfield Specials
Phil Roman on working with "Garfield" creator Jim Davis on the Garfield Specials
Phil Roman on the character of "Garfield" the cat on the Garfield Specials voiced by Lorenzo Music

King Leonardo and His Short Subjects

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Phil Roman on doing animation for King Leonardo and His Short Subjects and Calvin and the Colonel

King of the Hill

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Phil Roman on producing Mike Judge's King of the Hill

Mister Magoo

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Phil Roman on animating Mister Magoo at UTA

Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm

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Phil Roman on producing Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and The Mask

Pink Panther, The

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Phil Roman on animating for Friz Freleng's DePatie–Freleng Enterprises, and working on shows like The Pink Panther and Cat in the Hat

Simpsons, The

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Phil Roman on how Film Roman began to produce The Simpsons
Phil Roman on changes Film Roman made to the animation of The Simpsons when they took over animating the show
Phil Roman on Matt Groening's involvement with the animation of The Simpsons
Phil Roman on the premise and voice actors of The Simpsons
Phil Roman on his personal, day-to-day involvement with The Simpsons and on the production process
Phil Roman on The Simpsons' popularity with children and adults and on the impact the show has had on animation on television

Tom and Jerry

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Phil Roman on working with Maurice Noble on Tom and Jerry
Phil Roman on working on Chuck Jones' version of Tom and Jerry

Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, The

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Phil Roman on producing The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Phil Roman on advice to an aspiring animation producer

Characters & Catchphrases

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Phil Roman on the characters and themes of the Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on the character of "Garfield" the cat on the Garfield Specials voiced by Lorenzo Music

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Phil Roman on his mentors

Emmy Awards

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Phil Roman on winning multiple Emmys

Historic Events and Social Change

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Phil Roman on his experience in the Korean War

Korean War

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Phil Roman on his experience in the Korean War

Pivotal Career Moments

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Phil Roman on his mentors

Pop Culture

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Phil Roman on the characters and themes of the Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on the character of "Garfield" the cat on the Garfield Specials voiced by Lorenzo Music

Technological Innovation

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Phil Roman on how the animation business has changed since he started, and on the impact of new technologies on animation

Television Industry

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Phil Roman on his decision to resign from Film Roman
Phil Roman on advice to an aspiring animation producer
Phil Roman on how the animation business has changed since he started, and on the impact of new technologies on animation

War

View Topic
Phil Roman on his experience in the Korean War
Professions

Animation Executive

View Profession
Phil Roman on the challenge of running his own production company Film Roman
Phil Roman on Film Roman selling Howie Mandel's series Bobby's World to Margaret Loesch to FOX and on the process of selling shows to networks

Animation Professionals

View Profession
Phil Roman on how the animation production schedule differed from theatrical features to television and on dividing up labor
Phil Roman on what strengths he was most known for in his early days as an animator
Phil Roman on the challenge of running his own production company Film Roman
Phil Roman on Film Roman selling Howie Mandel's series Bobby's World to Margaret Loesch to FOX and on the process of selling shows to networks

Animator

View Profession
Phil Roman on the animation style at Walt Disney Studios
Phil Roman on how the animation production schedule differed from theatrical features to television and on dividing up labor
Phil Roman on what strengths he was most known for in his early days as an animator
Genres

Animation

View Genre
Phil Roman on the animation style at Walt Disney Studios
Phil Roman on animating Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Phil Roman on animating Horton Hears a Who!
Phil Roman on animating Mister Magoo at UTA
Phil Roman on animating Jay Ward's George of the Jungle
Phil Roman on joining producer Bill Melendez to animate Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on animating and producing the Charlie Brown Specials with Bill Melendez
Phil Roman on producing Garfield Specials
Phil Roman on how Film Roman producing The Simpsons
Phil Roman on producing Howie Mandel's Bobby's World cartoon series
Phil Roman on producing the PBS series Cro
Phil Roman on producing and animating The Critic starring Jon Lovitz
Phil Roman on producing Mortal Kombat and The Mask
Phil Roman on producing The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat
Phil Roman on producing C-Bear and Jamal
Phil Roman on producing Bruno the Kid
Phil Roman on producing Mike Judge's King of the Hill

Children's Programming

View Genre
Phil Roman on animating Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Phil Roman on animating Horton Hears a Who!
Phil Roman on animating Mister Magoo at UTA
Phil Roman on animating Jay Ward's George of the Jungle
Phil Roman on joining producer Bill Melendez to animate Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on animating and producing the Charlie Brown Specials with Bill Melendez
Phil Roman on producing Garfield Specials
Phil Roman on producing Howie Mandel's Bobby's World cartoon series

Commercials

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Phil Roman on animating commercials after his time with Disney
People

Joseph Barbera

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Phil Roman on Joseph Barbera

Jim Davis

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Phil Roman on working with "Garfield" creator Jim Davis on the Garfield Specials

Walt Disney

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Phil Roman on meeting Walt Disney, and on being there for opening day of Disneyland

June Foray

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Phil Roman on June Foray and Boris Karloff doing the voice work for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Theodor Seuss Geisel

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Phil Roman on Dr. Seuss' involvement in the animated Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Matt Groening

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Phil Roman on Matt Groening's involvement with the animation of The Simpsons

Chuck Jones

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Phil Roman on working with Chuck Jones who declared Roman not an assistant animator, but an animator
Phil Roman on Chuck Jones' contribution to Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Boris Karloff

View Person Page
Phil Roman on June Foray and Boris Karloff doing the voice work for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Don Knotts

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Phil Roman on animating the feature film "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" starring Don Knotts

Margaret Loesch

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Phil Roman on Film Roman selling Howie Mandel's series Bobby's World to Margaret Loesch to FOX and on the process of selling shows to networks

Howie Mandel

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Phil Roman on Film Roman selling Howie Mandel's series Bobby's World to Margaret Loesch to FOX and on the process of selling shows to networks
Phil Roman on producing Howie Mandel's Bobby's World cartoon series

Bill Melendez

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Phil Roman on joining producer Bill Melendez to animate Charlie Brown Specials
Phil Roman on the process of animating and producing the Charlie Brown Specials with Bill Melendez

Lorenzo Music

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Phil Roman on the character of "Garfield" the cat on the Garfield Specials voiced by Lorenzo Music

Maurice Noble

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Phil Roman on working with Maurice Noble on Tom and Jerry

Charles M. Schulz

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Phil Roman on studying under Charles M. Schulz
Phil Roman on working with Charles Schulz on the Charlie Brown Specials

Jay Ward

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Phil Roman on animating Jay Ward's George of the Jungle

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