Friday, January 21, 2011
Gene Deitch - Tom Terrific
Gene Deitch - Tom Terrific - 2011.01.14
I love getting sketches in the mail, it's like getting an unexpected present...I will send out first day covers to artists I know I will not be able to meet in person. I know that the odds are usually against getting a response from some of the people I send out to, but I figure it doesn't hurt to take the chance. However, I do wait impatiently each day hoping for a response...
When I got to my PO Box this afternoon and found a response from Gene Deitch I felt like a kid. Gene Deitch is an American illustrator who moved to Prague and set up family and studio. Deitch has produced animated cartoons for studios such as UPA/Columbia Pictures, Terrytoons/20th Century Fox (Tom Terrific) MGM (Tom and Jerry) King Features (Popeye, Krazy Kat) and Paramount Pictures (Nudnik).
Tom Terrific with the Mighty Manfred the Wonder dog was a 5-minute cartoon created by Gene Deitch for the Terrytoons Studios, which were run as part of the CBS television show Captain Kangaroo from 1957-59 (during my childhood). I used to watch Tom Terrific every day and thought he was the greatest. Tom Terrific, lived in a treehouse and could transform himself into anything he wanted thanks to his magic thinking cap. Along with his lazybones sidekick Manfred, Tom matched wits with his foe Crabby Appleton...
I had sent Mr. Deitch a first day cover with a Disney Lion King stamp, as I had nothing that would complement his work, I was going for the animation aspect. Mr. Deitch choose not to sketch on the FDC, but instead draw a picture of Tom Terrific on the return envelope. A surprise in every package...
Deitch authored a memoir, "For the Love of Prague" based on his experience of being the only free American in Prague during 30 years of Communism.
In 1958 Deitch's theatrical cartoon Sidney's Family tree was nominated for an Academy Award..1961 Academy Award for Animated Short for Munro written by Jules Feiffer.
2003, Deitch was awarded the "Annie" by ASIFA Hollywood for a lifetime contribution to the art of animation.