April 15, 2020

SATURDAY MORNING MASTERS: LEN JANSON


LEN JANSON 
(Unknown) 

Notable Roles: Animator, writer, story editor, producer, director 

Janson began working at Walt Disney Productions as an in-betweener. In 1965, he became a story man and received his first screen credit in Warner Bros.’ Boulder Wham! Roadrunner short. In the following years, he partnered with fellow animator and writer Chuck Menville. Together, they produced a series of live-action short films utilizing the long-forgotten stop-motion pixilation method. Among them was the Academy Award-nominated Stop Look and Listenwhich followed a day in the life of motorists who tooled around the city in invisible cars. They wrote, directed and starred in their shorts. Clips from their second film, Vicious Cycleswere used in ABC’s The New Communicators which landed them a gig making commercials for Gulf Oil’s “no-nox” gasoline. In 1969, Janson and Menville started long stints at both Filmation and Hanna-Barbera, serving as story editors and producers for several of their shows. Over at DiC Enterprises in the 1980s, Menville and Janson were offered the story editor position of The Real Ghostbustersbut they initially turned it down due to the massive workload of having to produce a syndicated and Saturday morning version of the show at the same time. Following the departure of story editor J. Michael Straczynski over creative differences in changes ABC wanted to make, Janson and Menville became the story editors for the remainder of the show’s run. They went on to write, produce and story edit for the reboot of Land of the Lost and Tiny Toon AdventuresFollowing Menville’s death in 1992, Janson went on to develop the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series for ABC, as well as its follow-up, Sonic UndergroundHe also wrote several episodes of Baywatch Nights and The Woody Woodpecker Show revival. Janson’s last credited work was on an episode of Gadget and the Gadgetinis in 2003, although he did appear in 2008 documentaries about The Real Ghostbusters. 

Saturday Credits: 
Cattanooga Cats 
Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down 
Groovie Goolies 
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1969) 
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids 
The Flintstone Comedy Hour 
The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie (episodes) 
Lassie’s Rescue Rangers 
Speed Buggy 
Star Trek: The Animated Series 
Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch 
Hong Kong Phooey 
Korg: 70,000 B.C. 
Shazam! (1974) 
Uncle Croc’s Block 
The New Adventures of Gilligan 
The Secrets of Isis 
ABC Weekend Specials (episodes) 
Ark II 
The New Adventures of Batman 
Space Sentinels 
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle 
Tarzan and the Super 7 
Yogi’s Space Race 
Buford and the Galloping Ghost 
Jason of Star Command 
The New Fred and Barney Show 
The New Shmoo 
Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo 
The Flintstone Comedy Show 
Space Stars 
The Smurfs 
Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour 
Benji, Zax & the Alien Prince 
The Biskitts 
Kissyfur 
The Real Ghostbusters 
The Little Wizards 
Tiny Toon Adventures 
Land of the Lost (1991) 
The Little Mermaid: The Animated Series 
Sonic the Hedgehog (1993) 
Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series 
Gadget and the Gadgetinis 

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