Essential animation reading this weekend: Mike Barrier and Milt Gray’s 1976 interview with Warner Bros. stalwart Phil Monroe. Monroe animated for four of the best animation directors of all time in a few short years: Frank Tashlin, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones. This interview is required reading for anyone interested in the working methods and habits of these very different filmmakers.
Monroe’s name is rightfully largely associated with Jones, not just because of his longevity with the unit, but because his own drawing style was so greatly influenced by Jones. His animation for the other units has a particularly “Jonesy” look and feel to it (the opening business with Elmer and the bear in The Hare-Brained Hypnotist, the wolf as a homeless woman in Pigs in a Polka, or Porky cracking Daffy’s neck towards the hotel manager in Porky Pig’s Feat), and it’s strongly apparent in this Mike Maltese written comic book story. From Barnyard Comics #14, October 1947. (Note the very Maltesian theme of mistaking skunks for cats and vice-versa.)