Pete Kleinow, steel guitarist for the Flying Burrito Brothers who also played with several big names in the music business, passed away Saturday at the age of 72 from complications brought on by Alzheimer's disease.
Kleinow also had a career in television and film. He worked as an animator on the original Gumby series and also wrote and performed the theme song. His other animation projects included Davey and Goliath, Land of the Lost, and commercials for Pillsbury featuring Poppin' Fresh. He also worked on visual effects and animation for such films as Gremlins, the first two Terminator films, Army of Darkness, The Empire Strikes Back and Holes.
In 1983, Kleinow won an Emmy for his visual effects work on the ABC miniseries The Winds of War, which chronicled the world events leading up to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.
[via Cartoon Brew]
After losing co-founder Joseph Barbera and animator Ed Benedict, Hanna Barbera is again saying good-bye to yet another legend. Iwao Takamoto, who designed Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the rest of the Mysteries Inc. gang, passed away yesterday at the age of 81.
While Ed Benedict is credited with designing the original Flintstones characters, Takamoto designed the Great Gazoo. He also created Muttley, the wheezing dog featured on such shows as Laff-A-Lympics, Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines and Wacky Races; and Astro, the Jetson's dog who, oddly enough, sounded not unlike Scooby-Doo (both were voiced by Don Messick). His other credits at Hanna Barbera include Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw and many, many others.
For over thirty years, Dina Babbitt, once a teenage girl imprisoned in Auschwitz, has been trying to reclaim paintings she made while in the concentration camp. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor, took a liking to Babbitt's artwork and asked her to paint portraits of the gypsies on which he was performing his horrific experiments. It was, in fact, these paintings that kept Babbitt alive. After the war, Babbitt came to California and worked as an animator for both Warner Bros. and Jay Ward Productions. When it was revealed that seven of her Auschwitz paintings were on display at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland, she tried to get them back, but the museum has consistently refused, claiming the paintings are not personal works of art, but rather documentation of the events that occurred at Auschwitz created under the orders of Dr. Mengele. The artistic community, including former DC Comics artist Joe Kubert, have rallied around Babbitt's cause, as have congresswoman Shelley Berkley, and a former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Efforts to help the 83 year old Babbitt reclaim her artwork were stepped up recently due to a heart condition that is threatening her health, though I would assume that if she were to pass away before the issue is resolved her family would continue the fight.
[via Toon Zone]
Early on in life I discovered I had a natural artistic ability, but one of the things I've always kind of regretted is that I never learned the fundamentals that can make a decent artist a really great artist. I can doodle a decent enough cartoon character, but nothing that could stand up to the scrutiny of anyone who actually knows how to draw. Nevertheless, whenever a family member wanted to have their kid's room painted with cartoon characters, I was the one they called upon. My "murals," if you will, usually turned out decent enough, but they were nothing compared to this 1930s-inspired mural created by animator Joe Busam for his not-yet-born grandson's room. All of the characters in the barnyard scene are generic, though apparently the kids are based on characters from the Merrie Melody "Pagan Moon." If anyone has a burlap sack and some heavy chains feel free to contact me and we'll work together to kidnap Busam so he can paint something like this for my unborn children, too.
[via Cartoon Brew]
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