Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hanging Ten with Corny Cole

As stated in earlier posts, it was Corny Cole who introduced me to professional animation. Corny and his brother Peter were one of the first surfers on the west coast starting in the 40's in Santa Monica and Malibu. Peter went on to surf giant waves in Hawaii, while Corny stayed in Hollywood to animate Looney Tunes and hang ten at Malibu.

After working at Warners in the 50's and 60's, Corny followed Friz Freleng to De-Patie Freleng to layout several Pink Panther cartoons.

Later in 1974 when I was 14, Corny brought that infamous Flip Wilson animated special to my mothers first grade class. That was it. I was hooked.

Later I ended up at Duck Soup working with his layouts of classic Looney tunes characters like Sylvester for the Nine Lives Dry catfood commercials. Duane Crowther directed, Amby Paliwoda and Jeff Howard animated, Toby Bluth did the BG's and I assisted, I was 19 years old.

I was going through my stuff the other day and stumbled upon these Corny Cole layouts for a Duck Soup Nine-Lives cat food commercial featuring Sylvester and Mark Anthony. Corny worked on the Looney Tunes with Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng until Warner Bros. closed the studio in 1963 (after a stint on production designing U.P.A.'s 1962 "Gay Purr-e" feature film). Shortly after production designing Richard Williams 1977 feature "Raggedy Ann and Andy", Corny brought his distinctive flair to a series of really classic spots in the late 70's. I had the pleasure of assisting animator Amby Paliwoda on a couple of these around 1979.

Later in 1983, I worked with Corny in bringing back Alvin and the Chipmunks. Corny directed the opening title sequence in one week working around the clock. We were pulling 20 hour days and finally ran the whole 60 second thing through the 120 person Hanna-Barbera ink and paint department in 48 hours to make it to air. Whew!

Corny now teaches Life Drawing at Cal Arts in Valencia, and was the proud recipient of the Windsor MC Kay Annie Award in 2006 for Lifetime achievement.


Maanav said...

holy crap! It's corny!

Jennifer Fabos Patton said...

I am sorry to tell you all that Corny passed away two weeks ago. We are still going on with the show and the Guild is doing something for him I believe on the 9th of October. Please come and celebrate his life with us.

Jennifer Fabos Patton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Cole said...

Thanks Craig.

craig clark said...

Thank you Jennifer for the news of the memorial art show at the Union Guild. I will be there, I will certainly miss Corny. And thank you Ryan, I'm so lucky to have known him. Rest in Peace.