Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Animaniacs

Mental Floss has an excellent article up about the development of Animaniacs after talking with Tom Ruegger, the shows executive producer and creator.

I was fortunate enough to work for Tom on Tiny Toons, Tazmania, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain as well as Histeria, first as a character layout artist and then as a director, and I still count them as some of my very best years in the industry.

We interviewed Tom Ruegger years ago and you can read that interview here.

From the site:

One idea Spielberg suggested was to make the popular Tiny Toons character Plucky Duck the star of the new show. Meanwhile, Ruegger had been developing characters based on the personalities of his three young sons. These two concepts were combined to create three brother ducks. However, the team soon realized that, between Disney’s Donald Duck, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and Warner Bros.’ own Daffy Duck, there were already plenty of animated waterfowl on the market. Spielberg agreed, but said they needed to come up with “a big marquee name” to help sell the show.

Ruegger was inspired by the large “WB” logo on the water tower at the Warner Bros. studio. He proposed a group of siblings drawn in an animation style reminiscent of anthropomorphized animal characters from the 1930s, and called them the Warner Brothers. Although they have dog-like characteristics, the exact type of animal the Warners are meant to be is unknown. According to the show bible – a book filled with background information for the creative team on a TV show – their species is labeled as “Cartoonus Characterus.”

For a brief period, there were four Warner siblings—Yakky, Smakky, Wakky, and little sister, Dot. As the studio artists honed the designs, Yakky became Yakko, and Smakky and Wakky were melded into Wakko. After getting clearance from the Warner estate to use the family name, the show was off and running.

You can read the whole article on Mental Floss!

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We also interviewed the multi-talented Bob Doucette who did all those cool posters above (and in the article). Bob was my producer on Histeria while I was directing on it. Bob was one of our very first interviews on Animation Insider, and you can read his interview here!

Paul Coulthard

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Paul Coulthard and I am currently a professional storyboard artist, working in the UK animation industry.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Not had too many crazy jobs (yet), so the most unique one would probably have been draining a reservoir in the pouring rain. This was in the break between studio and freelance, where I was temping regular jobs. I had to clamber up and down this muddy woodland banking, checking the drainage pipes were all connected, slipping and sliding about in the rain and mud. I just found it really amusingly futile – trying to drain a reservoir, in torrential rain. It was great fun and good exercise.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I love collaboration projects. I think it’s the best way to make progress on anything, bouncing ideas back and forth with other creative people. I worked on a project with a group of artists and students and that was a really nice collaborative effort. I also co-created and developed a pitch for an action-adventure show with my good friend James Tiley. It included creating, designing, writing the whole series in outline form and a pilot episode script. I loved working out the arcs and story structure the most.

How did you become interested in animation?
My mother tells me that when I was about three years old, there was a brief period where I wouldn‘t answer to any other name than “Dogtanian!” I grew up in the 80‘s, and shows like ‘The Mysterious Cities of Gold’, that had big long story arcs, really gripped me. The sense of journey and adventure sunk in. So it’s safe to see I always loved animation. Then, when I was eleven, I saw Continue…

Genevieve FT

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Genevieve FT and I’m currently as a freelance illustrator and concept artist. Working on many things I just can’t talk about..! I’m also a pin up artist on my free time !

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing too crazy, I was working at a liquor store before. Not much to say about it, except that having discount on wine is always good !

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
For the past four years, I’ve been creating a pin up calendar, and every year I’m very proud to show the result and see how much I’ve improved during the year! I try to make a different theme every year, like zodiac signs, animals and this year was women around the world. It’s always a nice feeling to have a final product ever year and it’s even better to see the demand
grow !

How did you become interested in animation?
I always loved animation films and TV shows, plus I always was a creative kid and as a teen I Continue…

Bruno Monteiro

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi there, first of all, I’m super happy to share some of my life and experience so far! My name is Bruno Monteiro and right now I’m a lot at once! I’m supervisor animator at the super cool LittleZoo Studio, I have my own small online animation school called OnFire and I’m co directing an indie short!!

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well, I’ve been doing animation since I’m 14 so I didn’t have other job in my life. But I played basketball for 6 years and I thought I would play professionally until I broke my leg and that was the end for me. Ah, and I made some real small money playing semi pro Warcraft 3 games.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I think that Rio 2096 was the paramount for me until now. Its a Brazilian feature that scored the Annecy’s Crystal Award in 2013 for best feature and the movie is about social clashes. Minority being murdered and its a mixture between Brazilian true story and syfy. Its a movie that has something to say, some important issue to touch and I think that animation, as any type of art form should address to the social needs of the people.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Brazil, and I started my journey in animation as a clean up artist. There wasn’t much studios in Brazil back there so jobs were few and no much opportunities. Until one day a small studio got the chance to do some animation for the “Asterix and the Vikings” feature, so I jumped in and Continue…

News: TOM AND JERRY: THE LOST DRAGON release date

Tom and Jerry_The Los Dragon_Box Art_2D

TOM AND JERRY: THE LOST DRAGON

AN ALL-NEW ANIMATED FILM

FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT

AVAILABLE ON DVD AND DIGITAL HD

SEPTEMBER 2, 2014

 

Release Includes 4 Bonus Tom and Jerry Episodes

 

BURBANK, CA (June 26, 2014) – Get set for fur-flying fun and delightfully zany cat and mouse high jinks withTom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon, the brand-new, full-length animated film, which is set for release September 2, 2014, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). Join Tom and Jerry on a captivating adventure as the tussling twosome come upon an adorable baby dragon who is separated from his mother. Mama dragon is about to breathe fire unless she’s reunited with her precious baby! Will Tom and Jerry set aside their constant bickering to help reunite the family? Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon will be sold in standard DVD which retails for $19.98 SRP.  Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon will also be available on Digital HD day and date with the DVD on September 2, 2014.

 

Everyone’s favorite cat and mouse duo is back with song, sorcery and slapstick in this enchanted tale. The adventure begins when Tom and Jerry happen upon a mysterious glowing egg. Little do they know, this egg was stolen from a very large, fire-breathing dragon! In short time, baby Puffy hatches from his egg and takes Tom as his mommy.  The angry dragon mom wants her baby back, but she’s not the only one…a powerful witch named Drizelda captures the baby dragon for her own wicked plans! With the help of powerful allies and animal friends, Tom and Jerry must fight tooth and claw to stop the witch and get the baby dragon back to its mother. The action takes flight in a climactic ending filled with might, magic and cartoon mayhem of course! Can Tom and Jerry help this tale end happily ever after? Find out with this rip-roaring escapade for the whole family!

 

Bonus Episodes:

 

  • Medieval Mouse
  • Fire Breathing Tom Cat
  • Medieval Menace
  • The Itch

 

Originally created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom and Jerry emerged during Hollywood’s golden age of animation and became one of the most popular cartoon series in existence. The shorts focus on the never-ending rivalry between Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse. The plots of each short usually center on Tom’s attempts to capture Jerry. Jerry however, is clever and quick on his feet so Tom hardly ever manages to catch him.

 

“This film will delight viewers with legendary Tom and Jerry antics presented in an entertaining new story that’s perfect for the entire family to enjoy together,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing. She added, “Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon is a whimsical story about magic and classic dragon lore that is filled with music, humor, endearing characters and, gorgeous animation. If you love Tom and Jerry or just want to enjoy a great family film, this title is a must have for your home entertainment library.”

 

The Credits

 

About Warner Bros. Animation

Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing both CG and traditionally animated projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. For TV, WBA produces series such as Teen Titans Go!The Tom and Jerry Show and the upcoming Be Cool Scooby-Doo! and Wabbit – A Looney Tunes Production for Cartoon Network; original animated DC Nation shorts for Cartoon Network; and Beware the Batman and the forthcoming Mike Tyson Mysteries series for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. As the home of the iconic animated characters from the DC Comics, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the DC Universe Animated Original Movies — for DVD. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 35 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).

 

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com and WB Ultra.

News: ACCLAIMED ANIMATOR GLEN KEANE DEBUTS NEW SHORT FILM PROJECT, “DUET,” AT GOOGLE I/O CONFERENCE

glen keane prod FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, June 26, 2014 ACCLAIMED ANIMATOR GLEN KEANE DEBUTS NEW SHORT FILM PROJECT, “DUET,” AT GOOGLE I/O CONFERENCE A celebration of life through the hand-drawn line, DUET is the latest in a series of Google ATAP’s Spotlight Stories, interactive short films made exclusively for mobile devices DuetPublicityStill_Original Acclaimed animator Glen Keane unveiled a first look at his latest and most personal project to date, DUET, as part of a special ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) Session this morning at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco, California. Presented together with Regina Dugan, who leads the ATAP group, Glen gave a live demonstration and talk through the creative process behind DUET. The public can view the entire presentation via YouTube here… Animated in its entirety and directed by Glen Keane (former Disney animator and creator of such beloved characters as Ariel, Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and Rapunzel), DUET tells the story of Mia and Tosh and how their individual paths in life weave together to create an inspired duet. The unique, interactive nature of the story allows the viewer to seamlessly follow the journey of either of the two characters from birth to adulthood. DuetPublicityStill_Post DUET is the third in a series of Spotlight Stories, which is a new way of telling stories on mobile devices. The stories blend world-class artistry with innovative rendering and interaction technology for mobile to create a new canvas for the next generation of storytelling. DUET is the first traditionally animated, hand-drawn film to debut as a Spotlight Story. The film offers a glimpse into what’s possible on mobile devices, a rich, modern canvas for creative expression and immersive works of art and technology. DUET will officially launch later this year and will be available on all capable devices with proper hardware capabilities and OS version higher than Android 4.2.

The Duet short start’s at 1:15:08 so be sure to check that out too!

 

ABOUT GLEN KEANE AND GLEN KEANE PRODUCTIONS

A 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Glen Keane is most noted for creating and animating such legendary Disney characters as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”, Aladdin, Pocahontas, the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast”, and Tarzan. Glen also served as Supervising Animator and Executive Producer on Disney’s 2010 box office hit, “Tangled”. In the spring of 2012, Glen decided to leave Disney Studios in pursuit of further artistic exploration. In his departure letter he stated: “I am convinced that animation really is the ultimate art form of our time with endless new territories to explore. I can’t resist its siren call to step out and discover them.” In 2013, he launched Glen Keane Productions to pursue his personal projects.

ABOUT ATAP ATAP is a small band of makers and believers charged with breakthrough innovations in mobile computing and accelerating the development of promising technologies to market. PUBLICITY CONTACT: Fumi Kitahara, the pr kitchen fumi@theprkitchen.com 310-291-9716