Frank Tashlin (1913-1972) was a prominent animator, writer, and director of both cartoons and live action films. His most notable work was done for the Leon Schlesinger cartoon studio during The Golden Age of Animation, having three seperate stints at the place.Initially, Tashlin cut his teeth working for Paul Terry as an animator on the Aesops Film Fables series of cartoons, only to quickly drift off to another animation stint at Van Beuren Studios. Finally, in 1932, he found work at the then-rising Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon studio, working as an animator, while working on a short lived comic strip in his spare time called Van Boring, the name being obvious jab at his previous boss. When Leon tried to swindle Frank into giving him a cut of the comics profits, Frank told him to shove it and promptly lost his job as a result. Once again adrift, he did a brief stint at the Ub Iwerks cartoon studio in 1934, only to leave in 1935 to be a writer on Hal Roach's Our Gang series of live comedies. During this time, he learned quite a bit about live-action film-making, including film-camera techniques.In 1936, Leon managed to lure Tashlin back to his studio, giving him a position as a director there, right during a time when Tex Avery was starting to take the studio away from its Disney roots in favor of faster paced, more cartoony shorts. Frank jumped right in, getting off to a good head start with "Porky's Poultry Plant", where he adapted live action style fast-cutting and dynamic camera angles into his cartoons, giving them a cinematic, energetic feeling lacking from Tex Avery and Friz Freleng's cartoon shorts. Despite this, he wasn't particularly happy due to him being stuck working on Porky Pig cartoons, a character whom Tashlin admitted later to hating.However, he left the studio again, with his crew being handed over to Chuck Jones, while he to work for Disney in 1938 to 1940, where he began story work on Walt's proposed Mickey Mouse feature, which would later evolve into the Mickey and the Beanstalk segment of Fun and Fancy Free.In 1941, he found work at Columbia Cartoons, where he directed three short cartoons, one of them being the first of Columbia's star series "The Fox And The Crow"—the short in question, "The Fox and the Grapes" was the first cartoon to use a "blackout gag" format, which director Chuck Jones would cite as an influence on his Road Runner cartoons.He would once again return to Warner Bros. in 1943, this time bringing a stylized, magazine like angular designs to his new shorts. Some of these later shorts of his had some noticeable sexual themes, particularly "Plane Daffy" and "Stupid Cupid".After his cartoon career ended, Tashlin went on to direct and write for many live action films, most famously the Jayne Mansfield comedies The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and numerous Jerry Lewis movies. His films are notable for including live-action versions of cartoon gags, such as Jayne Mansfield melting ice and causing milk bottles to overflow as she walks by. He also wrote five books: "The Bear That Wasn't" (1941), "How The Circus Learned to Smile" (1949, "The Possum That Didn't" (1950) and "The World That Isn't" (1951) and a self-help cartooning book "How to Create Cartoons" (1952). He even briefly returned to animation in 1967, adapting one of his children's books "The Bear That Wasn't" into an MGM animated short, directed by his former colleague Chuck Jones.To get a more deep idea of Tashlin as a person and his history at Warners, an interview of him has been posted by Micheal Barrier here.
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