stern1.gif (11500 bytes)THE BAKSHI FILES                    

I first met Ralph Bakshi in 1989 when he was on the east coast looking for animation artists to work on his feature film Cool World. As I unpacked my art and tape samples I started to mention that I had spoken on the phone with him a few months earlier and he said gruffly, “Yeh yeh big fu**in’ deal, let’s see what you got!” I began to see then that everything I’d heard about Bakshi from those of my colleagues in the animation business who had worked with him was true. After looking at my drawings and animation however he warmed up to me a bit. I was told I had a job ,but Ralph ultimately decided to take Cool World to Hollywood to be made where the production escalated from the “small” picture Ralph had envisioned to a multi-million dollar debacle starring Brad Pitt and Kim Basinger.

Ralph returned to the east in 1994 and once again I was called into his presence. This time he had a contract with The Cartoon Network to produce three short cartoons for their What A Cartoon series. Ralph decided after reviewing my work that he and I would animate the films using one assistant each. His assistant was Joan LaPollo while I chose a former student of mine, the very talented C.J. Sarachene to do the clean up and in betweening on my scenes. The first cartoon was one Ralph had already storyboarded, Melvin and Malcolm.