Cereal Killer

I'll bet you didn't know I had an alternate life style, did you? Yes, as much as I'm identified with Disney I spent several years working at another studio on the other side of the mountain. I began making visits to Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera's cartoon factory because I loved animation and was curious to see how the other half lived. The former MGM cartoonists had recently moved into their new Cahuenga boulevard production facility and although it was hardly Disney I found the studio a fascinating place to visit.

Suddenly it was the sixties and a recently downsized Disney made it almost impossible for a young artist to get a shot at becoming an animator. It's difficult to move up when there are no positions available. A number of Disney veterans began to leave the mouse factory for other better paying opportunities and I considered a move as well. However, deep down inside I remained a Disney guy and reluctant to leave a place I considered home.

When I learned I could moonlight for the television cartoon makers I jumped at the chance. Luckily you didn't have to be a grizzled old-timer to pick up animation in this brave new world of television. One of the first shows I began to animate on was “Jony Quest,"a prime time action adventure show created by Doug Wildey. In time, the irascible comic book artist - producer and I would become best pals. Hanna-Barbera had a completely different vibe from the "house of mouse” over in Burbank and I confess I truly enjoyed it. By the time the seventies rolled around I was hardly a fan of the new Disney management and the feeling was mutual. One afternoon I was called into the boss's office and given the boot. It was just as well. Disney's contentious animation department with its waring factions was hardly the place I wanted to be.

One of the most enjoyable shows I worked on during my time at H-B was the “Flintstones,” a popular cartoon show featuring wacky characters living in the stone age. I had missed the early sixties version and now I was getting a second chance. Better yet, I actually got to work first hand with creators, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. For the next several years cartooning was a joy.

Years later, after returning to the Disney Company, this cereal box job came along. Having worked on “The Flintstones” I knew I could probably do a pretty good Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. But, this box would eventually grace the shelves of supermarkets everywhere and had to be good. I enlisted the services of my old pal and Flintstone expert, Scott Shaw! to create the final pencils. The finished paints are by my wife Adrienne who can darn near paint anything and make it look stellar. We did two versions of the cereal box. One for Fruity Pebbles, and the second for a cereal I can't remember. However, I'm willing to bet Scott knows the answer to that question.

I recall there was also additional material I created for the “Flintstone” cereal box. Some sort of game or pamphlet but I have no idea where that material is today. However, I did enjoy going to the market and seeing my cereal box on the shelves and knowing I was providing a sugar rush for growing kids everywhere.

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