Frank Tashlin

I’ve been talking about shorts this guy directed for nearly all of 2015, why not talk about the man himself? He was born as Francis Fredrick von Taschlein. Just rolls off the tongure doesn’t it? He was much more well known as Frank Tash and Tish Tash. (Such a cool name.) The poor guy dropped out of high school at 13 and wandered from job to job. He worked on the TerryToons series, and eventually at Van Beuran Studios, but was still a drifter and left that. He came to the WB in 1933. In 1934, he began using his free time to draw a comic strip he titled, “Van Boring.” (Sticking it to the man are we?) He was fired soon after because he refused to give Leon Schlesinger a cut of his comic strip revenues. (Dang Leon, what’s your problem?) So he then went to work for Ub Iwerks and after that, Hal Roach. He returned to the winning team in 1936 and continued to direct shorts. At one point though, he got into an arguement with studio manager Henrey Binder and resigned. It was now 1938 and he went to go work in the story department at Disney. After that, he was the production manager at Columbia Pictures’ Screen Gems animation studio in 1941. He hired many of the ex-Disney staffers who left during the Disney animator’s strike. (They’ll be forever remembered as teh clowns in Dumbo) He went on to launch The Fox and the Crow series, but after that he was fired over an arguement with the Columbia executives. So like a boomerang, he returned to Warner Bros. in 1943. Only three years later, he would leave again, but this time for good. At least McKimson took over his unit. After animation he went on to write gags for the Marx brothers and Lucille Ball. He began directing movies in 1951 starting with Bob Hope film “The lemon drop kid” He would return to animation one more time in the 1960s when he would go to MGM to help produce the animated version of his story, “The Bear that Wasn’t.” He died on May 5, 1972 at the age of 59, after suffering a coronary. He may not have been my favorite director, but he was definately a great one. He shall be missed.

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