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.)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Oh Yeah! Hiroshi Chida & Shuzo John Shiota.

Shuzo John Shiota is the Executive Producer & President, and Hiroshi Chida is an award winning director, at Polygon Pictures in Japan. Polygon is a 25 year-old CG animation house based in Tokyo; they've done everything from commercials to TV shows to feature films. They've pitched Oh Yeah! Cartoons the very funny Boneheads.

Thanks to Shuzo for his very kind permission to post these frames from Boneheads.

Elanna Allen & Dimitri Ehrlich.

Elanna Allen is an animator and artist and Dimitri Ehrlich is a writer. Together they came in with a very nice, fun, picture book called Captain Fun and Tiny Special Pants for our Bolder Books for Boys & Girls project with Random House.

Thanks to Elanna & Dimitri for kind permission to post am illustration from their book.