Children's animiation is rich in rivalries. Roadrunner against Coyote. Tom versus Jerry. Popeye and Bluto. Veteran animator Jason Lethcoe wanted to capture that same spirit of competition and one-upmanship in "Halo and Horns," a one-minute showdown between the devil and a wily cherub.
Lethcoe knows how to draw up a cartoon character rivalry. His 30 years of Hollywood animation experience includes stints as a storyboard artist at Warner Brothers and Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios. He's also author and illustrator of several children's books, including the Zoom's Academy series.
"Halo and Horns" was one of 10 finalists and semi-finalists in the first-ever GoComics Short Shorts Animation Contest. You can view all 10 of these witty and wonderful animated features by clicking here.
We recently caught up with Lethcoe to talk about his animation background and the inspiration for "Halo and Horns."
GoComics: What inspired you to create this animated short? How did you come up with the idea?
I’ve been an animator in Hollywood for about 30 years and got my start animating Bugs Bunny at Warner Brothers. I wanted to do a short that had a little bit of that feel. I animated it on a kids animation program! It was fun!
GoComics: Who are your biggest creative influences?
Chuck Jones and Bob McKimson were two terrific Warner Brothers directors, and I love their cartoons. "Halo and Horns" owes a lot to the Roadrunner and Coyote shorts.
GoComics: What is your all-time favorite animated feature?
Well, since I worked on The Little Mermaid, I’m kind of biased towards that one. :)
GoComics: What is the most challenging part of the animation process for you?
Timing and spacing. It takes a lifetime to master just the perfect amount of time to deliver a believable performance.
GoComics: What do you envision yourself doing in five years?
The same thing I’m doing now… drawing animation and writing books for kids.
GoComics: How did you learn about the Short Shorts contest? Why did you decide to participate (besides the $25,000 grand prize)?
I’ve had comic strips on GoComics before, but animation is my first love. When I heard about the contest on Facebook I couldn’t wait to participate.