Monday, September 14, 2015

Silver Anniversary: "Tiny Toon Adventures"

Greetings Toonsters!  

"Tiny Toon Adventures" premiered on Friday night, September 14, 1990 -- 25 years ago today!

It began its daily weekday run on the following Monday, September 17th.

Thanks to all who made "Tiny Toons" happen.  

There's a book in this adventure.  Until then, enjoy a few visual memories...

"Tiny Toon Adventures" pep rally, Warner Bros. lot, 1990.  

"Tiny Toon Adventures" at the Rose Bowl parade, 1992 (above).  And below, a pre-internet visit to the bizarre.   

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today: The Premier of "Pinky & the Brain"

That's "Pinky & the Brain" the primetime series, which premiered at 7pm on Sunday night, September 10, 1995 on The WB.  After their success on "Animaniacs," the two lab mice broke into primetime with their own show.  The title of the first episode:  "Das Mouse," written by Peter Hastings, directed by Liz Holzman and Al Zegler, produced by Peter, Rusty Mills, me and Mr. Spielberg, and starring the vocal performances of Rob Paulsen as Pinky and Maurice LaMarche as the Brain.  

And, now it's 20 years later, and since the world is not yet in the Brain's control, we must assume that Pinky & the Brain have spent the last 7305 nights attempting to take over the world -- without success.  

But there's always tomorrow night.

"Why, what are we going to do tomorrow night, Brain?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky -- try to take over the world." 

"They're dinky, they're Pinky & the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain." 

"Narf" forever!    

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Greetings, fellow Cartoonatics!  

Tune in for "The Rock of Sages," an all new half-hour episode of THE 7D on Saturday morning, September 12 on DisneyXD.  You'll meet...

...The Seven Sages (one is missing, above) who hold the key to saving Jollywood from the Evil Lord Grudgemunger...

This wicked wizard seeks to control all the magic in the Universe, with the help of his unwitting allies...the Gloom!  

Will Hildy become the new Queen of Jollywood?  

Has Queen Delightful's rule come to an end?  

Can the secrets of The Singing Scroll (guest star Paul Shaffer) help our heroes save the kingdom?    

Can the 7D thwart Grudgemunger's forces of doom?  

I'm thinking "definitely."
Find out for yourselves -- Saturday, Sept. 12  on DisneyXD -- with the premiere of THE 7D's "Rock of Sages."   (Multiple airings continue through the week.)  

And check your TV schedule for THE 7D, airing every day of the week on DisneyXD starting in September!     

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Animaniacs" Recording Session: April 11, 1995

I doodled the faces of Yakko, Wakko and Dot during the voice recording (and singing) session for "The Big Wrap Party" segment of Animaniacs at Monterey Post in Burbank, California, back on April 11, 1995.  Hard to believe it was 20 years ago!   

I tend to draw during almost every recording session, so these sketches aren't unusual.  What's unique about this set of doodles is that I had everyone at the session sign it.  

So, scattered around these notepad drawings of Yakko, Wakko and Dot are the signatures of just a few of the people who gave voice and sound to the "Animaniacs" series:  engineers Harry Andronis and Patrick Rodman; recording assistant Kelly Foley; casting director Leslie Lamers;  voice director Andrea Romano;  series composer and music director Richard Stone; and the voices of Yakko, Wakko and Dot, namely Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Tress MacNeille.  What a group!  I feel very fortunate to have worked with these great talents, and so glad to continue working with Rob, Jess and Tress, among others, on Disney's "The 7D." 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


This is a BIG deal!  So big that it's taken 20 years to get the planning just right!
Along with Paul Rugg and John McCann, I'm proud to announce the following event:
Coming in 2015! 

That's right, 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the premier of Steven Spielberg presents FREAKAZOID, and what better way to mark the occasion than an entire weekend of Freakazoid  workshops, panel discussions, screenings, performances and one-of-a-kind events.

Yes!  Paul Rugg -- Freakazoid himself -- John McCann and I will be welcoming a slew of special guests, and we'd like you to take part in this weekend of non-stop activities -- the kind only Freakazoid and his friends could possibly bring you. 
Details and schedules are coming soon.  We hope you will plan on joining us in 2015 for this entertaining and IMMERSIVE weekend!

A bear WILL ride a motorcycle!

Pull the string!

And stay tuned!!!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"THE 7D": The Voice Actors, Part 4

Here's Kevin Michael Ricardson (the voice of Happy) with The 7D series' casting director, Abigail (Abbie) D'Andrea.

Among other casting coups for the show, Abbie booked Jimmy Weldon, the voice of "Yakky Doodle" from The Yogi Bear Show (1961), to voice the role of Whoopty Doopty Schmoodily Duck in the upcoming 7D episode entitled "Bing Bong Beans."   Jimmy, pictured below, turned 90 last December and is going stronger than ever!


Abbie also brought in two of our very favorite voice stars to perform in various 7D episodes:  Tress MacNeille (Duck Tales, The Simpsons, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs) and Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain).  

These are just a few of the great casting choices made by Abbie during the first season of  The 7D.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"THE 7D": The Voice Actors, Part 3

And now, the bad guys of Jollywood...the comic villains in The 7D:
Jess Harnell (Grim Gloom) and Kelly Osbourne (Hildy Gloom)

Calamities in Jollywood are created by The Glooms, a pair of witch and warlock hipster newlyweds who spend their days and nights hatching and executing plots to overthrow the queen, take over the kingdom, defeat the 7D, and steal all the magic jewels in the 7D's mine.   

Dim-but-doting husband Grim Gloom is played by the always-rocking Jess Harnell.   Wakko Warner on Animaniacs is just one of his previous standout roles.  

And Grim's fiery and spirited bride is played by the fiery and spirited star of Fashion Police herself, Kelly Osbourne, in her first animated role.   (She nails it.)

A new pair of Disney villains are born!

Look out, 7D -- these two are trouble.  (And they're funny, too!)

"THE 7D": The Voice Actors, Part 2

Just a few days to the Disney XD premiere of The 7D.  

But first, meet Queen Delightful and Lord Starchbottom!

Left to right:  Tom Ruegger, Leigh-Allyn Baker (Queen Delightful), Voice Director Kelly Ward, Paul Rugg (Starchbottom)

Here are two more stars in the cast:   

Leigh-Allyn Baker, star of Good Luck Charlie,  plays the beloved and whimsical ruler of Jollywood, Queen Delightful.  

Her aide-de-camp and right hand man is the panicky bureaucrat Lord Starchbottom, played by Freakazoid himself, Paul Rugg.  Paul is also one of the writers on the show.

Next up...the heavies on The 7D.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"THE 7D": The Voice Actors, Part 1

The 7D cast back when we did the pilot a couple of years ago.  That's Sleepy (Stephen Stanton), Doc (Bill Farmer), Bashful (Billy West), Grumpy (Maurice LaMarche), Happy (Kevin Michael Richardson) and Sneezy (Scott Menville).  That's me in the middle crashing the lower photo.  For the series, Dee Bradley Baker joined the cast as Dopey.  (Dee is on the far right, below.)     

Scott Menville, Maurice LaMarche, Kevin Michael Richardson, Billy West, Stephen Stanton, Billy Farmer, Dee Bradley Baker

In front, on the left, that's the best voice director in the business, Kelly Ward.  We're lucky to have him directing The 7D.  That's Kevin Michael Richardson next to Kelly.  In back:  Dee Bradley Baker, Scott Menville, Billy West, Stephen Stanton and me.

Additional members of our cast will be featured in the next post. 

"THE 7D": The 3 Directors

Here are the three brilliant directors on Disney's THE 7D series:  Alfred Gimeno, Charles Visser and Jeff Gordon, out in front of the Empire offices in Burbank, where Alfred is happily waiting for a streetcar that, much to his dismay, will never arrive.  

"THE 7D": The 7 Writers

Here's a 2013 photo of the seven in-house writers for Disney's "THE 7D."  Front and center, that's our story editor, Sherri Stoner.    She is flanked by associate story editor Deanna Oliver on the left and series writer Shea Fontana on the right.  Back row, left to right:  series writers Paul Rugg, Randy Rogel, me and Roger Eschbacher.  

"The 7D" premieres on Disney XD on July 7, 2014.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

The People Who Made "Tiny Toons" and "Animaniacs" -- Part Four

Above, left to right:  Colin Wells, who provides the voice of Colin, the kid who tells us about Randy Beaman on Animaniacs; the Executive Producer of Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, and Pinky & the Brain, Steven Spielberg;  and Nate Ruegger, the voice of Baby Plucky on Tiny Toons, Skippy Squirrel on Animaniacs, and Froggo on Histeria!   (Photo circa 1994)

On the right, Paul Strickland, Tiny Toon Adventures' Production Manager, with his wife Robin Carmichael Strickland, on the left.  Paul, Robin and I worked together at Hanna-Barbera in the 80's.  (Circa 1993)

Above, our fearless Executive Producer, Steven Spielberg, center, at one of our yearly wrap parties.  Behind him, standing, is Luke Ruegger, the voice of "The Flame," Bumpo the bassett and "The Brave Little Trailer" on Animaniacs and the voice of Big Fat Baby and Billy the Kid on Histeria!  Flanking Steven are two of Luke's closest childhood pals, Wesley and Ryan Hasting. (Circa 1995)

From 1996:  Charles Visser went from storyboard artist to series director on Animaniacs and Pinky & the Brain.  Today, along with Alfred Gimeno and Jeff Gordon, Charles is a director of Disney's  new animated series, The 7D.

Visiting the Animanics/Pinky and the Brain/Histeria composers at the Warner Bros. Studio Clint Eastwood Sound Stage.  Left to right:  that's me next to series composer The Great Stonini, Richard Stone, and two of his closest and most talented musical collaborators, composers Julie and Steve Bernstein.  

Above, four more stars from Warner Bros. Animation, circa 1997.   Top left:  Bob Doucette -- designer, artist (Animaniacs, Tiny Toons),  show creator (Detention), director and producer (Road Rovers and Histeria).  Top right:  Harry Andronis --  the brilliant and beloved recording engineer of Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain, Batman: the Animated Series, Histeria and most other series produced by Warner Bros. Animation in the 90's.  In the center:  the one and only Tress MacNeille -- the voice of Babs Bunny, Dot Warner, Hello Nurse and countless other characters at Warner Brothers animation, at Disney, on The Simpson and everywhere in the cartoon universe.  And standing in front:  Cody Ruegger, the inspiration for all the Baby Plucky cartoons ("Water go down the hole"), the voice of The Little Bluebird on Animaniacs, and the voice of Loud Kiddington on Histeria!