Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mourning the Loss of Two Entertainment Greats

I'm postponing the Saturday Matinee by a day or two in order to acknowledge the passing of two cool people from the world of entertainment. You won't know their faces, and you likely won't know their names, but they were people whose work you've very likely enjoyed.

The first is Don LaFontaine, who passed away on Labor Day. Who is he, you ask? He's this guy:



Yeah, now you know him. He is the voice of thousands of movie trailers, commercials, and all sorts of work requiring voiceover. In fact, Don was known as "King of the Voiceovers."

Here he is in a much older commercial for Hollywood Video.



Here Don briefly discusses his start in the industry and his philosophy of his work.



The other unfortunate passing is that of Bill Melendez, the director of virtually all of the Peanuts TV specials from the very beginning. I am a diehard Peanuts fan and adore the best TV specials, so Melendez's passing is particularly poignant for me.

Here is an interview where he discusses his start as a Disney animator and subsequent career.



Here is a sample of his earliest TV work on a commercial for Lucky Charms cereal.



Here is a clip from an obscure Peanuts special inspired by the film Flashdance. In this scene, Snoopy is shown doing his version of Jennifer Beals at a nightclub. The clip is filled with early 80s cheese, but please look past that and enjoy the vibrant animation that Melendez directed. A live dancer was hired to dance the steps and Snoopy's every move was based on the dancer's performance. Great work!



The contributions of both of these men are completely different, but also appreciated and loved. Rest in peace!

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

They'll be missed :( Wonderful videos btw.

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