This is truly fantastic. I have such awesome memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons and Looney Tunes was (and still is) my favorite. I can remember seeing your fathers name within the credits that were shown and remember it distinctly because his name was so original and sounded "neat". Those cartoons are what has made me try to be an animator today. I'm currently taking courses and I was looking for a great credible site to cite for the research paper that I am doing on him and the impact that he had upon animation itself. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful memories as well as some of his artwork. It is appreciated!! Bless you.
In reading "When Magoo Flew, The Rise and Fall of Animation Studio UPA" I was wonderfully reminded of the great times I had working at UPA. Many great animation artists took me under their wings and taught me so much and encouraged me to follow my creative dreams. Abe Levitow was one of my mentors who took the time to teach me basic animation, direction, and timing, which really gave me courage to branch out and start animating my own films. Not only was Abe a great director but he was a great person who cared about his teams of artist. Never once in the time that I worked with Abe did I ever hear him yell or say anything negative to the people who worked for him. I always carry him in my heart with fond memories as a dear friend who helped make my career in animation a wonderful experience.
I am so glad to find a place to acknowledge my own brief contact with Abe and my gratitude for his gererosity and geniality to someone who contacted him out of nowhere. Nowhere was Kansas in about 1960. I was a 14-year-old animation enthusiast and picked Abe's name from the credits of 1001 Arabian Nights. He answered more than one of my letters, writing in longhand. He sent me a sample exposure sheet and a beautiful cell setup from the movie, an image of which I have attached to a duplicate letter I am sending to your email address. I am fascinated today to see that the prince and princess are hand-inked, while the peacock is Xeroxed. In this setup the Princess' eyes are on a separate cel level, obviously so she can blink.
I went on to become a lifelong 2D animator, still working to this day. It was with some shock that I learned a few decades back that he had passed away a younger man than I am today, and at that time I wrote Chuck Jones a letter about recalling Abe. Chuck was also kind enough to write back to me.
If you members of his family are interested, I will send you scans of the letters he sent me, which you may publish on the website. Please let me know.
I am so glad to see a website devoted to Abe. I lived next door to the Levitows in Van Nuys from the age of 5 until they moved to Northridge (I'm now 66), and have the fondest memories of him and the rest of the family. Abe and I played games, catch with a baseball and I would spend hours at their home with Charlotte, Roberta and Judy (Jonathan was not born until some time later). Abe was like a second father to me. I think of him often and have a watercolor of Bugs Bunny he painted for me in a cowboy outfit that says "Howdy Myron! Your Pal Bugs Bunny” that I treasure. His art was amazing, not just his animation.
They sure as hell don't make 'em like they use to, but by now, good animation is like good music: timeless. Like any good art, really. Computers take the soul out of everything, come on.
This is great site .I am so happy to learn and to know about a wonderful artist and his art works.I am sure Mr Levitow influenced our life in Iraq ...Iraqi always love American animation .
I write a film review column for The Easton Irregular, a local arts paper & am doing a piece about Darrell's Christmas Carol book. I will try to attend the Dec. 1 screening where perhaps I'll get a chance to chat with you. Your father's legacy obviously extends beyond Magoo, but what a wonderful feather in his cap that holiday special is for all of you. Thanks for sharing his talent with the rest of the world. Best wishes,
Joe R. Frinzi
I never had the privilege of knowing your father personally--how I wish I had, but over the years have heard so much about him that I consider myself his nephew.
Hi, Judy...one of our mutual friends has been publishing stuff about Abe a lot on Facebook... soo wonderful! Thank you for this really cool site!!!
hi roberta,judy and jon
today my 8year old son and i were watching your dads movie Milo
on turner classic movies
this cartoon movie has lots of valuable messages and lessons for
Thank you so much for sharing this site with me. What a truly lovely tribute to Abe.
The Other Roberta
What a pleasant surprise to finally see Abe getting the recognition he so richly deserves. I can't help thinking how proud "Sorchie &Willie" would be.
We still have 2 original drawings of "Mr. Magoo & Bugs Bunny", drawn on blank notebook paper framed hanging in our den. Abe drew those cartoon characters for our eldest son Victor, who is very artistically talented. I also still have a birthday card drawn by Abe for my 9th Birthday. Needless to say I was especially thrilled at the time to have my older cousin draw a special card for me.
I was in California in 1975 specifically to try to meet my animation heroes. Through extensive correspondence, I knew Carl Bell who worked for Abe Levitow at Levitow Hanson Films, and he was trying to arrange for my meeting Mr. Levitow. One morning in May, in a call to my hotel, Carl told me the terrible news that Abe had died. Needless to say I was shocked and saddened by this terrible news.
Abe Levitow was an impressive artist and a very gifted animator as this site is testament to. I particularly enjoyed his wonderful Daffy Duck and Porky animation in "Robin Hood Daffy" in which the two characters are depicted in fits of laughter. I also loved his cover for the "Bugs Bunny and his Friends" LP record from the early 1960's which featured the Warner characters singing around a piano that Bugs was playing.
I only met Abe a couple times, once when he reacted to my reel ; "It's like being run over by a beautiful train". I guess it needed some editing, or at least some space between pieces. But it gave me the in to sit with one of the finest guys I have yet to meet. If I remember right he had just finished, or was working on a B.C. special.n The world sure could use another Abe Levitow again.
I worked with Abe on "Mr.Magoo's Christmas Carol" and "Gay Puree". He was a wonderful, kind, and generous person, always available to give you positive feedback and to inspire your creativity. Abe gave me my first animation lessons in the evenings after work on his own time , and taught me animation "timing" which lead to my work as an animation director. Thank you for putting up this site so aspiring animators can share the love of animation as Abe did.
Thanks for the tremendous site. I really enjoy Mr Levitow's work; some great cartoons.
Talent of this caliber never grows old, it continues to inspire.
Thank You for this.
What a great site! I have extremel fond memories of The Dick Tracy Show and Mr. Magoo, and it was a pleasure to finally see some of Off To See The Wizard, a show I had previously only heard about. God bless you and your family!
Awsome cousin Abe!
You were right, this is a great tribute to your father. Congratulations to you and your sisters.