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Thursday, December 15, 2005

ZANDER, Jack

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Birth/Death


Birth: 3 May 1908 Kalamazoo, Michigan,

Death: 17 December 2007 Pound Ridge, New York,


Occupation/Title

Animator, Director, Producer, Owner/Founder of Zander’s Animation Parlour (now Zander Productions), First President of the Screen Cartoonists Guild (circa 1938)

Bio Summary

Zander started work as an animator in the 1930’s as he said a call came into the Chouinard offices one day, Rohmer Grey, the son of novelist Zane Grey, had started an animation studio in his father’s garage and he needed animators. The receptionist stuck her head into the lobby, where Zander and a friend happened to be sitting. “Are you fellows animators?” she asked. Zander, as he later said in interviews, had no idea what an animator was, but it was the start of the Depression so he said yes, and thus his career in animation began. For the next two decades Jack Zander honed his craft at a series of studios, including Warner Brothers where, for $14 a week, he worked on Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, and MGM, where he did “Tom and Jerry” under the direction of the animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. 

During World War II Zander served in the Army Signal Corps, where he made animated training films. Chuck Jones and Frank Thomas were also off working for the war effort at the time. After the war Zander turned to commercial animation. His first ad was for Chiclets gum in 1947, featured a string of Chiclets boxes made into a little train. In 1954 he formed his first studio, Pelican Films.


Early Life/Family

Zander was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and moved with his family to Hollywood as a teenager. He had intended to be a fine artist, he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. 

Zander was married to Beth Wasem in 1941, she passed away in 1978. He had six children, Kathryn, Mark, who runs his father’s business now called Zander Productions; Maggie, Jane, Peter, and David country. He had 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


Education/Training

Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles (Now the California Institute of the Arts)

Career Outline

Jack Zander began at the Rohmer Grey Studio in 1930, but the studio didn’t last long, it folded and Jack started at Leon Schlesinger Studio in 1933 on the day Friz Freleng threatened to take the entire staff out if Leon didn't pay them their back wages! He was one of the last surviving animators of the Hanna & Barbera's MGM team. Jack Zander is best known as the original animator of Jerry in the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon series, begun in 1940.

By the time he retired in the mid-1980s, it was estimated that Zander had made more than 5,000 commercials. These included a popular series for Piels Beer in the 1950s, voiced by the radio comedians Bob and Ray. Other accounts included Gulf Oil, Camel cigarettes, the Dime Savings Bank, Alka-Seltzer, Green Giant vegetables, Crest toothpaste and a bevy of breakfast cereals. 


Comments On Style

Jack Zander had a beautiful drawing style and was an excellent draftsman. His studio, although all commercial work, commanded the highest quality and in the words of Tom Sito, “Even though it was it was commercials you did your best and you wanted to do your best for Jack.”
Jack's studio was considered the premier animation studio for commercials in the 60’s & 70’s.

Influences

Personality

Jack Zander was described as a neat man with graying hair, a Van Dyke beard and a large moustache, and horn-rimmed glasses whose sense of humor was “dry & droll”. He was described as a man that spoke softly and deliberately.

During the 50’s Zander was known for giving work to left-wing artists who had been blacklisted in Hollywood, a commercial, after all, has no telltale credit sequence.

Anecdotes

It’s been said that the reason behind Jack joining and then becoming the president of the Screen Cartoonists Guild was because the labor organizers told him if he didn’t join “they’d break his arm”.

Miscellaneous

Jack Zander was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and had criss-crossed the country many times well into his 90’s. He stopped riding at the age of 92 and only because he had a horrible spill in South Carolina.

Zander’s Animation Parlour employed several of the big names in animation today including: Tom Sito, Eric Goldberg, Preston Blair, Dean Yeagle, Nancy Beiman, and Emery Hawkins.


Filmography

Animation Department:

Puss Gets the Boot (1940) (animator) (uncredited) 
The Night Before Christmas (1941) (animator) (uncredited)
Fine Feathered Friend (1942) (animator)
Sufferin' Cats (1943) (animator)
"Saturday Night Live" (animator) (3 episodes, 1984)
... aka "NBC's Saturday Night" (USA: complete title) 
... aka "SNL 25" (USA: alternative title) 
... aka "SNL" (USA: informal title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live '80" (USA: sixth season title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live 15" (USA: new title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live 20" (USA: new title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live 25" (USA: new title) 
... aka "Saturday Night" (USA: first season title) 
    - Ed Asner/The Kinks (1984) TV episode (animator) (segment "Tippi Turtle") 
    - Jesse Jackson/Andrae Crouch, Wintley Phipps (1984) TV episode (animator) (segment "Tippi Turtle") 
    - Bob Uecker/Peter Wolf (1984) TV episode (animator) (segment "Tippi Turtle") 

Director:

The Mechanical Cow (1937) 
Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter (1972) TV episode 
Gnomes (1980) (TV) 
"Saturday Night Live" (3 episodes, 1984)
... aka "NBC's Saturday Night" (USA: complete title) 
... aka "SNL 25" (USA: alternative title) 
... aka "SNL" (USA: informal title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live '80" (USA: sixth season title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live 15" (USA: new title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live 20" (USA: new title) 
... aka "Saturday Night Live 25" (USA: new title) 
... aka "Saturday Night" (USA: first season title) 
    - Ed Asner/The Kinks (1984) TV episode (segment "Tippi Turtle") 
    - Jesse Jackson/Andrae Crouch, Wintley Phipps (1984) TV episode (segment "Tippi Turtle") 
    - Bob Uecker/Peter Wolf (1984) TV episode (segment "Tippi Turtle")

"The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie" (1 episode, 1972)
... aka "The New Saturday Superstar Movie" (USA: second season title) 
    

Producer:
Gnomes (1980) (TV) (producer) 


Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1993

Related Links


Imdb: Jack Zander 
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0952873/


TomSito.com
http://tomsito.com/blog.php?post=599

Cartoon Brew: Jack Zander Interview by AMID
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/advertising/jack-zander-interview.html


Bibliographic References

New York Times: Arts: Jack Zander by Margalit Fox (December 20, 2007)
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/arts/20zander.html?_r=1&ref;=obituaries
Tom Sito
Mark Kausler
Nancy Beiman: http://madcartoonist.blogspot.com/


Contributors To This Listing

Marie Bower, Larry Loc

To make additions or corrections to this listing, please click on COMMENTS below...

You can contribute to this listing. Click on COMMENTS below to submit information.

1 Comments:

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Marie Bower said...

Marie Bower
History of Animation
Larry Loc
8 April 2009

Jack ZanderBirth/Death:Arthur Jack Zander was born May 3, 1908 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and died at the age of 99 December 17, 2007 at his home in Pound Ridge, New York.

Occupation/Title:Animator, Director, Producer, Owner/Founder of Zander’s Animation Parlour (now Zander Productions), First President of the Screen Cartoonists Guild (circa 1938)

Bio Summary:Zander started work as an animator in the 1930’s as he said a call came into the Chouinard offices one day, Rohmer Grey, the son of novelist Zane Grey, had started an animation studio in his father’s garage and he needed animators. The receptionist stuck her head into the lobby, where Zander and a friend happened to be sitting. “Are you fellows animators?” she asked. Zander, as he later said in interviews, had no idea what an animator was, but it was the start of the Depression so he said yes, and thus his career in animation began. For the next two decades Jack Zander honed his craft at a series of studios, including Warner Brothers where, for $14 a week, he worked on Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, and MGM, where he did “Tom and Jerry” under the direction of the animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

During World War II Zander served in the Army Signal Corps, where he made animated training films. Chuck Jones and Frank Thomas were also off working for the war effort at the time. After the war Zander turned to commercial animation. His first ad was for Chiclets gum in 1947, featured a string of Chiclets boxes made into a little train. In 1954 he formed his first studio, Pelican Films.



Early Life/Family:Zander was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and moved with his family to Hollywood as a teenager. He had intended to be a fine artist, he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

Zander was married to Beth Wasem in 1941, she passed away in 1978. He had six children, Kathryn, Mark, who runs his father’s business now called Zander Productions; Maggie, Jane, Peter, and David country. He had 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.



Education/Training:Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles (Now the California Institute of the Arts)


Career Outline:Jack Zander began at the Rohmer Grey Studio in 1930, but the studio didn’t last long, it folded and Jack started at Leon Schlesinger Studio in 1933 on the day Friz Freleng threatened to take the entire staff out if Leon didn't pay them their back wages! He was one of the last surviving animators of the Hanna & Barbera's MGM team. Jack Zander is best known as the original animator of Jerry in the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon series, begun in 1940.

By the time he retired in the mid-1980s, it was estimated that Zander had made more than 5,000 commercials. These included a popular series for Piels Beer in the 1950s, voiced by the radio comedians Bob and Ray. Other accounts included Gulf Oil, Camel cigarettes, the Dime Savings Bank, Alka-Seltzer, Green Giant vegetables, Crest toothpaste and a bevy of breakfast cereals.

Comments On Style:Jack Zander had a beautiful drawing style and was an excellent draftsman. His studio, although all commercial work, commanded the highest quality and in the words of Tom Sito, “Even though it was it was commercials you did your best and you wanted to do your best for Jack.”
Jacks studio was considered the premier animation studio for commercials in the 60’s & 70’s.

Influences:
Personality:Jack Zander was described as a neat man with graying hair, a Van Dyke beard and a large moustache, and horn-rimmed glasses whose sense of humor was “dry & droll”. He was described as a man that spoke softly and deliberately.

During the 50’s Zander was known for giving work to left-wing artists who had been blacklisted in Hollywood, a commercial, after all, has no telltale credit sequence.

“Red flocked velvet wallpaper would not be out of place in many animation studios. This one, however, was located in a very posh Madison Avenue building. I found out later that the red wallpaper and the name “Zander’s Animation Parlour” were designed to suggest the ambiance of a San Francisco whorehouse. It was the first hint of the owner’s sense of humour.” -Nancy Beiman on her first impression of Zander’s studio.

Upon accepting his Annie Award Zander had this to say:
" Getting this award at this great age kinda reminds me of the joke about the two old men walking down a road until one encountered a talking frog. The Frog said, " I am not a real frog but an enchanted princess. Kiss me and I shall turn into a beautiful woman and do any erotic thing your heart desires!" The man pocketed the frog and they walked on. After awhile the man's companion said to him;" Aren't you going to kiss her?" The old man replied:" When you reach my age, some times you'd rather have a talking frog. " Thank You.”

When asked about working for Fred Quimby, Zander had this to say:
“Fred was an elegant man, but when it came to animation he didn’t know his ass from a hot brick.”

Anecdotes:It’s been said that the reason behind Jack joining and then becoming the president of the Screen Cartoonists Guild was because the labor organizers told him if he didn’t join “they’d break his arm”.

Miscellaneous:Jack Zander was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and had criss-crossed the country many times well into his 90’s. He stopped riding at the age of 92 and only because he had a horrible spill in South Carolina.

Zander’s Animation Parlour employed several of the big names in animation today including: Tom Sito, Eric Goldberg, Preston Blair, Dean Yeagle, Nancy Beiman, and Emery Hawkins.

Filmography:Animation Department>
"Saturday Night Live" (animator) (3 episodes, 1984
--- "NBC's Saturday Night" (USA: complete title)
--- "SNL 25" (USA: alternative title)
--- "SNL" (USA: informal title)
--- "Saturday Night Live '80" (USA: sixth season title)
--- "Saturday Night" (USA: first season title)

Ed Asner/The Kinks (1984) TV episode (animator) (segment "Tippi Turtle")

Jesse Jackson/Andrae Crouch, Wintley Phipps (1984) TV episode (animator) (segment "Tippi Turtle") 


Bob Uecker/Peter Wolf (1984) TV episode (animator) (segment "Tippi Turtle") 


Sufferin' Cats (1943) (animator)

Fine Feathered Friend (1942) (animator)

The Night Before Christmas (1941) (animator) (uncredited)

Puss Gets the Boot (1940) (animator) (uncredited)

Director"Saturday Night Live" (3 episodes, 1984)
--- "NBC's Saturday Night" (USA: complete title)
--- "SNL 25" (USA: alternative title)
--- "SNL" (USA: informal title)
--- "Saturday Night Live '80" (USA: sixth season title)
--- "Saturday Night" (USA: first season title) 


Ed Asner/The Kinks (1984) TV episode (segment "Tippi Turtle") 
 -

Jesse Jackson/Andrae Crouch, Wintley Phipps (1984) TV episode (segment "Tippi Turtle") 


Bob Uecker/Peter Wolf (1984) TV episode (segment "Tippi Turtle")

Gnomes (1980) (TV) 


"The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie" (1 episode, 1972)
--- "New Saturday Superstar Movie, The" (USA: second season title)

Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter (1972) TV episode 


The Mechanical Cow (1937)

Producer:Gnomes (1980) (TV) (producer) 



Honors:1993 Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Animated Film Society

Related Links:Imdb: Jack Zander
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0952873/


Michael Sporn Animation, Inc.: Search: Jack Zander
http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/index.php?s=jack+zander&submit=Search

TomSito.com
http://tomsito.com/blog.php?post=599

Cartoon Brew: Jack Zander Interview by AMID
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/advertising/jack-zander-interview.html

Bibliographic References:New York Times: Arts: Jack Zander by Margalit Fox (December 20, 2007)
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/arts/20zander.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries

Tom Sito

Mark Kausler

Nancy Beiman: http://madcartoonist.blogspot.com/

 

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