Interview by James Eatock - November1997 / May 1999
Is that Tom Sito?
Recently I was browsing the He-Man and She-Ra sites and I noticed you had one of myepisodes up. Wow! It was fun to see it again.
You did some great directing for the She-Ra series!
Thank you for your interest in our old Alma Mater andby all means feel free to print it. The photo now contains two producers, twodirectors, three authors and a trade union president. Funny what time can do.I'll scrounge about for anything, I'd ask Loo-Kee but I can never find thelittle beast. Did you know that Arthur Nadel, our head writer, directed thelast Elvis movie? I believe it was Clambake.
Who came up with the idea for Loo-Kee?
Arthur Nadel dreamed up Loo-Kee and fought for it whenwe all thought it wouldn't work. Time has proved him right. He did pass away afew years ago after a long career.
What are the other staff members doing?
After the demise of Filmation Robert Lamb returned tohis native Kentucky where I believe he was doing something for the local Christian media.
I've interviewed a few other writers,such as Larry DiTillio and Bob Forward.
Great that you got in touch with the guys you mentioned.They're great guys. Robby London, anotherwriter, is today a vice president at DIC productions, Don Heckman works atUniversal and still contributes musical reviews for the L.A. Times. He wasoriginally the first Rock & Roll reviewer for the NewYork Times in thelate 1960's. John Grusd is also at DIC. I don't know what happened to RowbyGoren, he was doing wild public-access cable shows for a while.
Robert Lamb had mentioned that in theepisode "Evilseed" you animated the death of the villain?
Yes I did animate those scenes in Evilseed. I hadactually forgotten about them until you mentioned it! Bob Arkwright wasdirecting that episode and he wanted me specifically to animate those. When youdirected Saturday morning cartoons in the US you learned to cultivate the few animators who craved a challenge andfunnel to them the good character scenes. When I directed I used Lenny Gravesand Mike Girard. Mike later became a big gun on the early Simpsons episodes.
I was talking the other day with Dori Littel Herrickwho was the assistant head of cleanup at Filmation about your communicationsand getting me hooked up with Robert Lamb. We recall how after the studioclosed former staff had to cover up their Filmation past because the featurestudios had a bias against Saturday Morning credits. Now after the years fanslike you have made us re-examine our past work and give it a new respect. Thankyou for your zeal and admiration.
What other scenes do you rememberanimating?
I did do a good scene of He-Man full figure in profilefacing stage right punching his way through a wall and forcing the last part ofit open with his foot ("The Heart of A Giant" and "Shera Makes APromise"). Bob Arkwright responded best to hot-doggin' animation. SteveClark, Hal Sutherland and some of the others didn't want the complexity.
Funny how for all the attitude about He-Man and She-Ra later in the great theatricalanimation boom of the 1990's Filmation folk contributed heavily. Dan St. Pierrethe art director of Disney's Tarzan was a Filmation layout artist. Thehead of layout on Dreamworks' The Prince of Egypt Lorenzo Martinez is Filmation. Almostthe entire effects department Mark Myer, Randy Fullmer, Jeff Howard, MauroMaressa matriculated to Disney's effects department, ditto for many of thecareer key assistants like Randy Sanchez and the late Bruce Strock.
Well, gotta get to work!
Thanks for your time.
Seeyou in Grayskull - Tom Sito.