Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Abe Levitow

A Levitow-animated scene from Rabbit Seasoning.

Via Michael Sporn's Splog, I learned of a new site dedicated to the late Abe Levitow, animator and director. Levitow was a fixture of the Chuck Jones unit at Warner Bros. and MGM in the '50s and '60s and also contributed to UPA, working on their features 1001 Arabian Nights, Gay Purr-ee and the TV special Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

There is an abundance of lovely artwork here, and not all of it is by Levitow. There are colour pieces by Bob Inman, Victor Haboush and Corny Cole, for example. There are also great photos of Levitow and the people he worked in the animation business, as well as with Judy Garland and Robert Goulet, who supplied voices for Gay Purr-ee. Dig deep into this site and you'll be rewarded.

In this photo, Levitow is wearing the light shirt at the center of the image and Dick Williams is the right-most person. The others are unidentified. I may be wrong, but I think that the man standing on the left, who appears to be wearing a tuxedo, is Shamus Culhane. Can anyone confirm that?

I'm pretty sure the unidentified person at left is John Culhane. The others, identified on the Levitow site, are, from left to right, Dick Williams, Vincent Price and Abe Levitow.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

The man in the tux definitely looks like Shamus to me. He was the first animator I worked for when I broke into animation back in the early '70s. Besides giving me a nervous breakdown, he introduced me to the Nicholaitis (sp?) book.

John Celestri

Hans Perk said...

Culhane, in his book, speaks highly of it:

Kimon Nicolaides: The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Company 1941, reprinted many times incl. in paperback 1990: ISBN: 0395530075 ISBN 13: 9780395530078.

Larry Levine said...

Great site, highly recommended!

Greg Duffell said...

Mark: That's definitely Shamus Culhane. I think the seated person is animator Sergio Simonetti, though it's hard to tell. The animation that person is working on is Dick's version of the brigand based on a trace-off of a scene of one of Malificent's henchmen from Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty". The person at the back triggers the name "Tony Hall" in my head, but I'm really not sure.

Anonymous said...

The person standing behind, second from the right, is Bill Hajee. Scottish gentleman who worked in America for a few years.