Lantz, Walter

Signed original 1979 sketch of “Woody Woodpecker”

Price: $135.00

Description:
Walter Lantz (1899-1994) American cartoonist, animator, film producer, and director, best known for founding Walter Lantz Productions and creating Woody Woodpecker, Space Mouse, Homer Pigeon, Chilly Willy, Andy Panda, Charlie Chicken and others. He completing a mail order drawing class at age 12 and later studied at the Art Students League. In 1924, Lantz directed, animated, and starred in his 1st cartoon series “Dinky Doodle”. To Hollywood 1927, worked briefly for director Frank Capra and was a gag writer for Mack Sennett comedies. In 1928, he was hired as a director on the “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” cartoon series for Universal Studios. President Carl Laemmle decided to produce the Oswalds on the Universal lot and Oswald became Lantz’s character. In Sept. 1929, he put out his first cartoon, “Race Riot”. Lantz became an independent producer, supplying cartoons to Universal and by 1940, he was negotiating ownership for the characters he had been working with. When Oswald had worn out his welcome (later returned to Disney), Andy Panda became Lantz's headline star for the 1939-40 production season. In 1940, Lantz debuted Woody Woodpecker in an Andy Panda short, “Knock Knock”. Mel Blanc supplied Woody's voice for the 1st 3 cartoons. Blanc left Lantz’s studio and Ben Hardaway became the bird's voice, but Blanc's distinctive laugh was still used throughout the cartoons. During 1948, the Lantz studio had a hit Academy Award-nominated tune in "The Woody Woodpecker Song", featuring Blanc's laugh. Blanc sued claiming that Lantz used his voice in various later cartoons without his permission and they settled out-of-court. In 1950 Lantz picked his wife Grace's voice for Woody Woodpecker, and she supplied Woody's voice until the end of production in 1972. Lantz withdrew from Uinversal late 1947, releasing 12 cartoons independently through United Artists in 1948-49. Financial difficulties forced him to shut his studio in 1949. Universal-International resumed production in 1951. By the ‘60s Walter Lantz and Friz Freleng were the only producers still making cartoons for theaters. He finally closed shop in 1972 and Universal serviced remaining demand by reissuing his older cartoons. 1979 he was given a special Academy Award "for bringing joy and laughter to every part of the world through his unique animated motion pictures." In 1986 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1990, "Woody Woodpecker" was similarly honored. Pencil and ink bust portrait of Woody Woodpecker inscribed and signed on 3 x 5 white card, adding January 22 1979 date.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed Sketch






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