“Tashlin’s tenure at Warner Bros. did not provide him with a ‘cartoon aesthetic’ that could be applied, ready-made, to his features; rather, it allowed him to develop a feature filmmaking aesthetic through cartoons.”
“Tex Avery — Arch Radicalizer of the Hollywood Cartoon” consists of slightly glorified program notes that I wrote for the Zagreb Animation Festival in 1978. It was a big hit in the Old World and was published in Russian, Croatian, Dutch, French, and Italian (twice), but the only time it ever got printed in English was by Gary Morris in his cinephile-revered rag called Bright Lights. Now, thirty-one years later, Mr. Morris has decided to reissue the piece online. I have forgone attempting any actual rewrites, though, because the observations have not dated especially egregiously, except for my discussion of the then-current state of cartoon criticism. The biggest faux pas contained herein is my overconfident assertion that cel animation would inevitably dominate the future of the medium (oops – maybe not), as CGI was then but a distant pixel on the historical horizon.