Monday, June 20, 2005

Oh Yeah! Larry Huber!

Larry Huber is the unsung hero of the modern animation business. He's my hero. Without Larry Huber, my whole approach to cartoons would have been derided as Fred's Folly.

Now that we're moving into the fourth season of Oh Yeah!, I wanted to give Larry his well deserved props.

Larry and I have been the co-executive producers of Oh Yeah! Cartoons since it first went into production. Before that he oversaw our shorts at What A Cartoon!/World Premiere Toons! at Cartoon Network and Hanna-Barbera. Between the two he was responsible for developing the teams that created 100 original cartoon characters, 11 hit series (including his own ChalkZone), and 3 feature films. Geez Louise!

Think about it. Larry guided the now recognized talents of Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCraken, Butch Hartman, Rob Renzetti, Bill Burnett, David Feiss, and dozens of others through their first professional, solo films and series. His tutelage virtually populated the cartoon industry with its new generation of star talent.

Excitement, optimism, hope, animation skills and talents, and an unerring sense of story have been the hallmarks of Larry's bag of tricks in these enterprises. Don't underestimate how challenging it is to balance the needs of all these filmmakers, each with a laser-like focus on doing a picture just their way, and that way happens to be completely different than the person in the next office. It requires a fortitude that few people have. Larry's got it.

Clearly, our production teams, led by Debby Hindman and Sherry Gunther, had the patience of Job themselves. And Buzz Potamkin, who identified Larry as the right guy in the first place, deserves more than a little credit here in believing that our approach could make a difference. But Larry was the man.

Whenever you write and thank me for our cartoons and what we've been able to do for the industry, remember, it's Larry who made the difference.

Thanks bud, I'm looking forward to another wild season.

(By the way, regarding the illustration up above: Butch Hartman, then a 'fist' in the Hanna-Barbera bullpen, proved his unique ability to capture a personality in a flash with this 1990 sketch of Larry hard at work.)


Anonymous Larry Huber said...

Thanks for your nice kudos, Fred. Coming from a man who reinvented the Animation business for the better, that's true praise! I've had more fun the years I worked with you than I ever had in all the years before. I'm looking forward to even more fun this time around. Thanks for not letting me retire early! Your pal,Larry Huber

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Dave Levy said...

Rich Gorey and I were blown away to get Larry's feedback on our storyboard pitch. It's humbling to see all the successful projects he's helped shape even beyond his own series. I don't know where any of you Frederator folks find the energy. You're all the hardest working cartoon team going! None of you are ever allowed to retire. : )

11:40 AM  

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