Saturday, February 11, 2012

How To Make A Woody Woodpecker Cartoon

I'm a real sucker for classic how to material like this..Here's Walter Lantz explaining the traditional process of making an animated cartoon. In the old Woody Woodpecker show from the late 50's and early 60's, Walter Lantz would introduce the cartoons, much like Walt Disney did in his Wonderful World Of Color and Disneyland episodes; but Lantz would describe in short 4 minute sections like this, how a story was put together or how the backgrounds were made or how the pencil drawings got transferred to cels, etc. These real glimpses into the process fueled young people (like myself at the time) into learning more about the animation medium. Some would eventually be inspired enough to pursue a career into the cartoon arts! Material like this was pretty rare to see, especially at a time when there was no you tube or DVDs. If they aired a piece like this and you missed it, you'd have to watch the show on a steady basis to see the re-run of the episode. Fortunately, a bunch of these clips are available on The Woody Woodpecker DVD boxed set #2. In this bit, Lantz explains the job of an animation director. The Director I believe, is none other than Alex Lovy. Lovy was a key director for Lantz and later for Hanna-Barbera. Sometime in the early, early 90's, Alex was still working, directly across the aisle from me at Warner Bros. Animation. Don't know why, but I should have asked for an autograph at the time.....missed opportunities!

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