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Creator: Frank Tashlin
Tish Tash, working on a scene from the Columbia Cartoon "The Tangled Angler".

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.


    Filmography 

1932

  • Redskin Blues: A Van Beuren Tom & Jerry short he animated for.

1933

  • Hook & Ladder Hokum: A Van Beuren Tom & Jerry short. His first directorial effort.
  • I've Got to Sing a Torch Song: Presumably his first animation stint.
  • Buddy's Beer Garden: Animator.

1934

  • Honeymoon Hotel: Animator.

1935

1936

  • Porky's Poultry Plant: First credited directorial effort at the studio.
  • Little Beau Porky
  • Porky in the Northwoods

1937

  • Porky's Road Race
  • Porky's Romance
  • Porky's Building
  • Porky's Railroad
  • Speaking of the Weather: First Merrie Melodies short he worked on. The short is one of three parodies of the "Things come to life in a store" genre of cartoons that was previlent during the 30's.
  • The Case of the Stuttering Pig
  • Porky's Double Trouble
  • The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos

1938

  • Porky at the Crocadero
  • Now That Summer Is Gone
  • Porky the Fireman
  • Have You Got Any Castles?: Second of three "Things come to life in a story" parodies.
  • Porky's Spring Planting
  • The Mayor Lied Down 'Til Dawn
  • Wholly Smoke
  • Cracked Ice
  • Little Pauncho Vanilla
  • You're An Education: Last short he directed at his second Warner Bros. stint.

1940

  • Mr. Duck Steps Out: A Donald Duck short. He did not direct, but wrote the story.

1941

  • The Great Cheese Mystery: First Columbia Cartoon he worked on. Did not direct, but wrote the story.
  • The Fox and the Grapes
  • The Tangled Angler

1942

  • A Hollywood Detour: Directed it.
  • Under The Shedding Chestnut Tree: Supervised this and the following Columbia shorts.
  • Wacky Wigwams
  • Concerto in B Flat Minor
  • Dog Meets Dog
  • Wolf Chases Pigs
  • A Battle for a Bottle
  • Cinderella Goes to a Party
  • Bulldog and the Baby
  • Old Blackout Joe
  • Song of Victory
  • Red Riding Hood Rides Again: Was the producer.

1943

  • Porky Pig's Feat: First short upon his return to WB.
  • Scrap Happy Daffy
  • The Goldbrick: One of Private Snafu shorts he directed.
  • The Home Front:
  • Puss N' Booty: Last black & white Looney Tunes short. Animator Shamus Culhane is rumored to have done uncredited work for the short.
  • A Corny Concerto: Directed by Bob Clampett, but he wrote the story.

1944

  • I Got Plenty of Mutton
  • Swooner Crooner: Footage from his cartoon would be recycled for a cartoon sequence of the film "Two Guys From Texas".
  • The Chow Hound: Private Snafu
  • Brother Brat
  • Censored
  • Plane Daffy
  • Booby Hatched
  • The Stupid Cupid

1945

  • The Unruly Hare: One of two Bugs Bunny shorts he directed.
  • Behind the Meat-Ball
  • Tale of Two Mice
  • Nasty Quacks

1946

  • Hare Remover: Second of two Bugs Bunny shorts he directed, but was uncredited.
  • The Lady Said No
  • Choo Choo Amigo
  • Daffy Ditties: Pepito's Serenade

1947

  • The Way of Peace

1951

  • The Lemon Drop Kid: Helped finish directing it.

1952

  • The First Time
  • Son of Paleface

1953

  • Marry Me Again

1954

  • Susan Slept Here
  • The Face is Familiar: An episode of G.E. True Theater TV series.

1955

  • Artists and Models

1956

  • The Lieutenant Wore Skirts
  • The Honest Man: An episode of G.E. True Theater TV series.
  • The Girl Can't Help It
  • Hollywood or Bust

1957

  • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

1958

  • Rock-A-Bye Baby
  • The Geisha Boy

1959

  • Say One For Me

1960

  • Cinderfella

1961

1962

  • Bachelor Flat
  • It'$ Only Money

1963

  • The Man From The Diner's Club
  • Who's Minding The Store?

1964

  • The Disorderly Orderly

1965

  • The Alphabet Murders

1966

  • The Glass Bottom Boat

1967

  • Caprice
  • The Bear That Wasn't: An animated short based off of his book, directed by Chuck Jones.

1968

  • The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell


Tropes Associated With Frank Tashlin:

  • Big Name Fan : His films had an incredible influence on the French New Wave who loved his Genre-Busting style and visual invention. Paul McCartney and John Lennon loved his film The Girl Can't Help It as did several other rockstars of the 60s.
  • Disowned Adaptation: He hated Chuck Jones' adaptation of "The Bear That Wasn't", as he felt the story's message got muddled.
  • Genre-Busting : His feature films were radical and innovative comedies. The Girl Can't Help It was a pioneer in the rock musical genre, and gave audiences around the world their first glimpses of favorite rock acts of the 50s.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The Private Snafu cartoon "Censored", which features near nudity.
  • Jump Cut: Tashlin's cartoons often had very fast timing, with some scenes lasting only a few frames.

—-
Robert McKimsonNoteworthy Looney Tunes Staff    
Genndy TartakovskyAnimatorsOsamu Tezuka
Andrei TarkovskyDirectorsJacques Tati

alternative title(s): Frank Tashlin
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