|Earl Kress and his wife Denise|
Earl Kress was a major contributor to the writing of both Animaniacs and Pinky & the Brain. Earl wrote or co-wrote many episodes which have become fan-favorites of the Animaniacs series, including the Slappy cartoon “Smell Ya Later” (co-starring Sherri Stoner and Jonathan Winters) and that Christmas gem "Little Drummer Warners" (directed by Lenord Robinson). Earl was also part of the team that wrote the DVD animated feature “Wakko’s Wish.”
During the 90’s at Warner Bros, Earl also scripted some great segments for Tiny Toon Adventures (“Turtle Hurdle,” “Class Cut-up,” “Day for Knight”) and a handful of Road Rovers episodes. Earl took home Emmy Awards for his writing on both Pinky and the Brain and Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain.”
I’ve known Earl since the early 80’s and have had the pleasure of working with him on a bunch of different animated series over the years, including Pound Puppies and Yogi’s Treasure Hunt during our time together at Hanna-Barbera.
Of course, Earl has worked on many cartoons outside of the Warner Bros./Hanna-Barbera spheres. At Disney, for instance, he co-wrote the animated feature film “The Fox and the Hound.”
Earl and I grew up during the same era, and we were both big fans of the early Hanna-Barbara series starring Huck and Yogi and Quick Draw. Earl is one of the world’s leading experts on Hanna-Barbara history and lore, and also studied voice-over acting with the legendary voice of Yogi, Huck and Quick Draw, Daws Butler. Beyond these studies, Earl and Daws became good friends.
You can hear some of Earl’s voice work on “Hanna-Barbera’s Pic-A-Nic Basket,” the definitive 3-CD collection of music and sfx from Hanna-Barbera shows of the late 50’s to the 70’s. Earl not only performs on the album, he also hunted down and preserved many of the rare tracks, and produced the album as well.