"'A Charlie Brown Christmas' was the first half-hour special, and only because I refused to do it into an hour. Up to that time, a special was always an hour. I refused to do it because people get bored sitting there or their eyes start hurting from watching all these terrible jittery animations. It's short enough so you enjoy it and then it's over."
About This Interview
In his four-hour Archive interview, Bill Melendez (1916-2008) speaks about his beginnings at Walt Disney Studios and later at Warner Bros., where he animated cartoons featuring popular characters including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He also discusses his work for United Productions of America and John Sutherland Productions. Next, Mr. Melendez describes his early collaboration with comic strip artist Charles M. Schulz on commercials featuring the "Peanuts" characters and explains how that became a career-long partnership on over fifty animated Peanuts television specials. He discusses in detail some of those projects, including A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. He also touches on the various Peanuts feature films and television series, including the animated miniseries This is America, Charlie Brown. Finally, Mr. Melendez speaks of other projects he has produced through his production company, including the animated The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, as well as animated specials featuring comic strip characters "Garfield" and "Cathy." Jennifer Howard conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on June 23, 2001.