West Coast Experts

Jerry Beck

Photo of Jerry Beck
Animation Historian Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of his interview)
Jerry Beck was one of the very first people we interviewed, at his office in Burbank, California in 2001. But the best interview was at Stevens’ Recording, in Topanga
Canyon in 2007.
Audio: Ed Stevens
Jerry Beck is a well-respected authority on animation. He has written a number of books on the subject, and has been of great assistance on our documentary project. Jerry was the moderator of the 2004 Tribute at the AFI, and was one of the four experts we taped for the four UPA presentations at Ottawa 2006. His video introduced the “Legacy of UPA” program. Jerry Beck is part of the Sausages scene.

Tom Sito

Photo of Tom Sito
Animation Historian Los Angeles

We interviewed Tom Sito several times, most notably at Stevens’ Recording, in Topanga Canyon in 2007.
Audio: Ed Stevens

Tom Sito is considered the Raconteur of Animation, as his interviews demonstrate. He’s had a long history in animation production, has written two fine books on animation and teach animation. He’s now Dean of the animation department at USC. He’s helped us a lot as we’ve progressed, moderated the epic 2012 Magoo at the Alex Tribute, which screened pristine 35mm prints of all 15 Oscar nominated UPA shorts. Plus, Sito was one of the experts we taped for the UPA presentations at Ottawa 2006. His video introduced the “The Birth of UPA” program, and we used it to kick off our Kickstarter campaign to get our documentary rolling again. You can see it now in our theater on the home page.

Tom Sito is part of an unreleased scene

Click to hear a portion of his interview.

Leonard Maltin

Photo of Leonard Maltin
Animation Historian

We interviewed Leonard Maltin in his Toluca Lake home in 2004; he’s closer than anyone to the UPA studios.
Camera: Patrick Dunavan

Leonard Maltin is a nationally recognized film critic on TVs Entertainment Tonight. Leonard turns out to have a life-long interest in animation, and has written one
of the finest books on the top animation studios, Of Mice and Magic. He is a fervent fan of UPA, and allowed us into his home, to discuss some of
his favorite UPA films, with Gerald McBoing Boing at the top of his list.

Leonard Maltin is part of the Press Forward scene, as well as an unreleased scene.

Charles Solomon

Photo of Charles Solomon
Animation Historian Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of his interview)
We interviewed Charles Solomon at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2008.
Audio: Ed Stevens
Charles Solomon is probably the most prolific expert, author, and moderator in the animation field. He’s written countless books, is the animation guru for National Public Radio, and is often tapped by the Motion Picture Academy and others, to moderate animation programs.

Eric Goldberg

Photo of Eric Goldberg
Disney Animator

We interviewed Eric Goldberg, and his wife, Susan, in their Glendale home in 2010.

Eric Goldberg is not only one of the great Disney animators of all time, but a gifted commentator with a deep love of animation, having worked with one of the great masters, Richard Williams,
who worked briefly at the short-lived UPA London studio. Goldberg tells many fascinating stories with wit and panache. Fortunately for us, he’s also a big UPA fan.

Eric Goldberg is part of an unreleased scene.

Michael Giaimo

Photo of Michael Giaimo
Designer Disney

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)
We interviewed Michael Giamo in his home against one of his gorgeous paintings in 2008.

Michael Giamo is one of Disney’s top designers, and luckily for us, he’s also a bone fide fan of UPA, and talks freely during our interview with him about the influence UPA had on him and the
animation world at large.

Michael Giamo is part of an unreleased scene.

T-Dan Hofstedt

Photo of T-Dan Hofstedt
Designer Disney

We interviewed T-Dan Hofstedt inside the Fantasia cone hat, of the animation building, on the Disney lot.

Last we heard T-Dan Hofstedt was teaching animation at the Laguna College of Art & Design, but T-Dan was one of the stalwarts at Disney for many years and then in the hallowed cone of the former office of Roy Disney we had a most informal chat, and his interview is full of insights and geat stories.

T-Dan Hofstedt is part of an unreleased scene.

Bill Matthews

Photo of Bill Matthews
Disney Outreach Walt Disney Animation Studios

We interviewed Bill Matthews in his Glendale home in 2008.

Bill Matthews is a multi-talented man, and a huge storehouse of Animation history. He worked at JPL in the design department and helped set up Sheridan College and Van Arts in Canada. So, he also teaches animation.

But, he’s most remembered at the first person a young Disney applicant met as they entered the hallowed halls of the Alameda lot, first as a reviewer of their work and then if he accepted them, to put them on a path of Disney training to mold them to their best needs. For us, it was his Animation Storehouse of a brain. We interviewed him twice as long as most, so you will certainly hear more from Mr. Matthews.

Bill Matthews is part of an unreleased scene

Sharon Colman

Photo of Sharon Colman
Story Artist DreamWorks

(Click to hear a portion of her interview.)

We interviewed Sharon Colman along one of the babbling brooks on the DreamWorks lot in 2008, shortly after she started working there. We had seen Sharon Colman’s student film, Badger,
which had been nominated for an Oscar for short animation, quite an accomplishment for a student film. So we couldn’t wait to interview her. She tells us an incredible story of growing up in a small town in coastal Scotland, where she’d never heard of animation. It wasn’t until she went off to London to study art that she was introduce to this wonderful
art form.

Pete Docter

Photo of Pete Docter
Director Pixar

We interviewed Pete Docter in one of the conference rooms looking down over the grand lobby at the Pixar studios, in 2008.

At the time we interviewed Docter he was just in the midst of working on UP, yet for us it didn’t matter that he didn’t have Up or Inside Out under his belt, he was an energetic and passionate lover of animation, a virtual smart cartoon come to life. He’s among our favorite interviews, as he not only is a fan of UPA and a great depository of animation history, plus he also expresses himself clearly and with great enthusiasm.

Pete Docter is part of an unreleased scene.

Brad Bird

Photo of Brad Bird
Director Pixar

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Brad Bird in one of the conference rooms looking down over the grand lobby of Pixar in 2008, a different one than Pete was in.
We interviewed Brad Bird shortly after Ratatouille had come out, and we just loved it, so it was a great joy to interview it’s prime creator. Plus, we had heard from Teddy Newton that Bird had asked Teddy to create the “Duck-and-Cover” scene in The Iron Giant in a UPA style. So, it was a many splendored interview.

Andrew Stanton

Photo of Andrew Stanton
Director Pixar

We interviewed Andrew Stanton in one of the screening rooms at Pixar in 2006.

When we interviewed Andrew Stanton, the hush-hush project at Pixar was his Wall-E feature. So, we felt very privileged to get an interview with him. He even showed up bits of the story-board, what a rush. Despite his status as one of the primary directors at Pixar, he couldn’t have been nicer to we humble documentarians. But, fortunately he really loves UPA and wanted to put his 2¢ in, which turned out to be more like $2,000,000.

Lou Romano

Photo of Lou Romano
Character Designer Pixar

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Lou Romano in the backyard of his home across the bay from Emeryville in 2008.

We first met Lou Romano when he came down from Pixar to be on our UPA Tribute panel at the gala Egyptian theater event in Hollywood in 2006. He’s been a constant supporter of our UPA
documentary ever since, even designing the Juggler logo for the AniMazSpot festival, of which we are associated. His interview was conducted on a very pleasant afternoon, with young puppies romping around our feet, so if you hear yelping during the interview, you’ll know what it is. Anyway, he was a terrific Interviewee.

Jeff Pidgeon

Photo of Jeff Pidgeon
Story Artist Pixar

We interviewed Jeff Pidgeon in the attic studio of his home in Emeryville, California, in 2004.
Camera: Patrick Dunavan

Jeff Pidgeon studied animation at Cal Arts, saw many UPA films in Jules Engel’s experimental classes, although he had been very impressed by UPA films at an early age, well before Pixar. This
converted attic where we did our is filled with animation memorabilia. It’s in the background and it the foreground is a monitor showing UPA shorts, which he comments on, and they are priceless, as you will see in our documentary.

Jeff Pidgeon is part of the Gerald Hop scene

Teddy Newton

Photo of Teddy Newton
Story Artist Pixar

We interviewed Teddy his penthouse apartment overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, in 2004.
Camera: Patrick Dunavan

Teddy Newton is another of the young Pixar artists influenced by UPA. He designed a segment for The Iron Giant that Brad Bird asked him to design … in a UPA style. In our interview with Newton he discusses some of the UPA genius, which contributed to the influences that propelled him into animation. His independent shorts garner international awards, and his “Day and
Night” short for Pixar won him an Oscar.

Mark Walsh

Photo of Mark Walsh
Story Artist Pixar

We interviewed Mark Walsh in one of the screening rooms in Pixar, in 2006.

We first saw Mark Walsh at a banquet given for the AnimaMundi 2007 program presenters at a nice seaside Brazilian barbecue restaurant. We were all at a very long table, enjoying some very tasty Brazilian cuisine, when suddenly I heard a voice at the other end of the table, and a head appears “Are you the guy doing the UPA doc? I need to talk to you.”

The next day, when we’d finished our programs, he invited me up to Pixar to do a modified UPA presentation for the staff after we returned from Rio, of course … and that is how our connection with Pixar began.

Mark Walsh got us started on our many Pixar interviews, all fascinating, plus, he was a great interview as well.

Jim Capobianco

Photo of Jim Capobianco
Story Artist Pixar

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Jim Capobianco in one of the screening rooms in Pixar, in 2006. Jim Capobianco was one of the interviews Walsh set up for us. Capobianco was the one who directed the wonderful 2-D short that was shown with Ratatouille, “Your Friend the Rat.” He also had his Hollywood
premier of his independent short called, “Leonardo” at the very first AniMazSpot festival at the Egyptian Theatre in 2009.

Andy Beall

Photo of Andy Beall
Story Artist Pixar

Andy Beall, pronounced “Bell,” was another of the Mark Walsh introductions. We can’t say enough about Pixar, I doubt there was a dud among them.
In fact, when we tried to go to a presentation that Beall did at CTNExpo 2014, it was standing room only before the Expo even opened, a true measure of not only his artistry, but his personal presence.

Geefwee Boedoe

Photo of Geefwee Boedoe
Independent Animator/Designer

We interviewed Geefwee Boedoe in his studio in Emeryville, California, in 2004.

Camera: Patrick Dunavan

Geefwee Boedoe left Pixar to write and illustrate children’s books, but before the books, first for Disney, and later Pixar, he created some
wonderful animation art. He was the creator of the UPAesque opening title sequence for Monsters, Inc. Then, a few years ago he was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short for his independently produced, “Let’s Pollute,” riotously funny, and also beautifully designed and animated.

Geefwee Boedoe is part of the Great Tale scene and an unreleased scene.

Mark Kirkland

Photo of Mark Kirkland
Director The Simpsons

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Mark Kirkland at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2007.

Audio: Ed Stevens

Mark Kirkland, we learn years after we first met, is the son of famed Hollywood photographer, Douglas Kirkland, but Mark has chosen a very different path for his life: animation. He studied at Cal Arts in Valencia, California, and ended up as one of the first Animation Directors on the long running Simpson’s series. In fact, when we did our interview he had done more episodes than any of the Simpson directors. He gave us a great interview and has been helpful in many ways for our long-running documentary production process.

David Silverman

Photo of David Silverman
Simpson’s Director

We interviewed David Silverman in his wonderful old Spanish style home in Hollywood, California, in 2010.

Camera: Charles Davis

David Silverman has been on The Simpsons television series from its inception, most of the time as the Supervising Animation Director. Silverman was also the Director of the first Simpsons animated feature, The Simpsons Movie. Silverman was first introduced to UPA, when Herb Klynn took over UCLA animation, during Dan McLaughlin’s year-long sabbatical. Then, he got his first job in animation at Stephen Bosustow Productions, in Santa Monica, California.

Bob Kurtz

Photo of Bob Kurtz
Animator, Animated Commercials Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Bob Kurtz in 2007 at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon.

Audio: Ed Stevens

Bob Kurtz is very special to our documentary, not only for his knowledgeable and passionate remarks on UPA, and animation in general, during his interview with us, but he’s always been willing to lend a hand when we needed an entertaining and respected voice on a UPA panel, for instance. Kurtz was especially delightful on the small panel we had after the big Alex Theatre event, in Glendale, where we showed all 15 Oscar nominees from pristine 35mm prints.

Bob Kurtz is part of the On the Phone scene.

Mike Kazaleh

Photo of Mike Kazaleh

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Mike Kazaleh at his home in Burbank in 2005.

Camera: Patrick Dunavan
Audio: Ken Gale

Mike Kazaleh is revered as one of the finest animators in the business today, and he is also a walking encyclopedia of animation knowledge, about which he feels deeply passionate. Mike has an uncanny ability to be able to recognize which animators did each scene in any given animated film. And, if that isn’t enough, he created the first animated scene for our documentary, which was going to be a short on Bobe Cannon to get the gears greased for the feature. But, Kickstarter made that unnecessary, but we hope to return to that idea of doing a short on Bobe, after the feature is completed rather than before.

Mike Kazaleh is part of some unreleased scenes.

Bill Kroyer

Photo of Bill Kroyer
Animation Technology Pioneer

We interviewed Bill Kroyer at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2007.   

Audio: Ed Stevens

Bill Kroyer has a long history in animation and was an early enthusiast of computer animation, which led him to running Rhythm and Hues, one of the most creative and envelope pushing companies in animation today.  Lest well known is Kroyer’s major work at the Motion Picture Academy on behalf of the Animation Branch.

Barrie Nelson

Photo of Barrie Nelson
Animator Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Barrie Nelson in is home studio, in Malibu, California, in 2001, then again at Stevens’ Recording studion in 2007.

Audio: Ed Stevens

Barrie Nelson was among the very first interviews we did for the documentary. Nelson is an award-winning animator, who worked extensively on John Hubley’s later films. He was greatly influenced by UPA, as a young boy in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he immersed himself in UPA shorts at his local theater. During our fascinating first interview with Nelson, he delighted us by drawing a funny little walking scene of Magoo, very brief, but enjoyable.

Barrie Nelson is part of an unreleased scene.

Cathy Crowther

Photo of Cathy Crowther
Independent Animator Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of her interview.)

We interviewed Cathy Karol at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2006.

Audio: Ed Stevens

Kathy Karol Crowther is a prolific creator of independent and personal award-winning animated shorts. She also teaches animation at Santa Monica
College, and was married to Dwayne Crowther who worked for a number of years for UPA.

Cathy Karol Crowther is part of an unreleased scene.

Mark Kausler

Photo of Mark Kausler
Story Artist and Collector Los Angeles

Story Artist and Collector

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Mark Kausler at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2006.

Audio: Ed Stevens

Mark Kausler is not only a wonderful animator, story artist, and filmmaker, in his own right, but has accumulated one of the finest collections of animation art and memorabilia in the world, including a sizable collection on UPA. Plus, he is one of the few collectors who also has
35mm films, and is able to screen them on a huge theater size projector in his converted garage studio. After our interview with Mark, he ran some rare UPA films, a few of which, we believe no one has seen since the fifties.

Mark Kausler was one of the experts we taped for the four UPA presentations at Ottawa 2006.

His video introduced the “UPAs Directors” program.

Story Artist (on music)

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

Mark Kausler did a totally separate interview featuring his collection of cartoon music, which is quite fascinating. For more info on Kausler go to the Mark Kausler listing above.

Frank Macchia

Photo of Frank Macchia
Animation Music Composer Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Frank Macchia at Stevens’ Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2006.

Audio: Ed Stevens

Frank Macchia is long-time cartoon music composer and performer, with a strong background in jazz. If all goes well, Frank will compose and perform the music for The Boing Heard Round the World.

If you want more on Macchia just go to his listing on Wikipedia and you’ll see a huge long list of work he’s accomplished.

Dave Evans

Photo of Dave Evans
Animator Writer Los Angeles

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Dave Evans at Stevens’s Recording in Topanga Canyon in 2006

Audio: Ed Stevens

Dave Evans is a screenwriter who specializes in animation projects, writing many of the shorts that came out of Stephen Bosustow Prods. Evans was also part of a small group of three who met once a month to map out early strategy for the documentary, he as the writer, Mike Kazaleh as the animator, and Tee Bosustow as the producer. They met at Norm’s in Burbank, designed by John Lautner, who also designed the Burbank UPA studio.

Karl Cohen

Photo of Karl Cohen
Animation Historian San Francisco

(Click to hear a portion of his interview.)

We interviewed Karl Cohen in his home office in San Francisco, surrounded by a vast library of animation books and original drawings.

Karl Cohen’s interview is unlike any other, as he concentrated on the political aspects of UPA and factors that both advanced it in the realm
of modern art, but also with the infamous HUAC hearings of Senator McCarthy, also contributed to it’s ultimate demise, part of one of Hollywood’s darkest periods in their glitzy history.

Judith Morgan

Photo of Judith Morgan
Ted Geisel Biographer

We interviewed Judith Morgan at the Ted Geisel Library in San Diego, California, in 2008.

Judith Morgan, along with her husband, Neil, wrote “Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel”, the only biography written with the direct support of the reclusive
Geisel, himself. Geisel/Seuss created the original Gerald McBoing Boing character as a children’s record in 1950. Judith’s interview gave us fresh insights on how the very Seussian Gerald, which appears on the original Capitol record cover, morphed into the little UPA Gerald, who became so popular, and won the studio’s first Oscar. Hana Cannon also shed some light on that complete transformation of the character. Gerald looks nothing like the Cat in the Hat, or any other Seuss character.

S.W. Conser

Photo of S.W. Conser
Animation Historian Portland, Oregon

We interviewed S.W. Conser in one of the sound studios at Pacifica Radio in Portland, Oregon, in 2007.

Conch, as Steve Conser is often called, started by interviewing us, as well as Jack Heiter, a UPA alum, and that alone is an interesting document. Conch is a perpetual motion machine, who’s radio interviews span many subjects, but among them animation stands out for us — Portland, after all, is one of the often overlooked hub of the world animation community.