JA: So let's start with your work as an assistant animator on the 1977 animated feature, Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure; how did you become involved in this production with director Richard Williams, who you would later work with again, and what are your memories of being involved on this film?

TS: I was completing my degree at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, but then this opportunity arose- Dick Williams, Academy Award winning director in New York, with all the money of IT&T, and using some of the greatest animators outside of Disney! It was too good to pass up. I took a sabbatical and started as night shift ink & paint. Raggedy Ann & Andy were painted with bold polka dots and plaids- red, white, and blue colors. Every night going home on the subway, I could still see the colored polka dots dancing around the inside of my eyes while I tried to sleep. I rose to inbetweener, then assistant. First in a room called The Taffy Pit, that focused on Emery Hawkins Greedy Monster, then on other sections of Andy Song and the Captain. For us young artists it was like going to Willie Wonka’s with a gold ticket! We had animation lessons and advice from all the top pros. Here I was at age 19, assisting a Grim Natwick scene, he was 87 then! The man who taught Chuck Jones and Marc Davis how to animate. I was in heaven!

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