I interviewed Les Novros, Bill Hurtz, and Paul Julian on December 15, 1986, at Julian’s home in the Los Angeles suburb of Van Nuys. […] While Paul and I waited for Bill and Les
to arrive, I turned my recorder on and we talked for a short while about his family history and especially about his work on the Warner Bros. cartoons.
I rarely recorded interviews with two or more people, but in this case it made sense because Les, Paul, and Bill were old friends and their careers had overlapped, at Disney and UPA especially. Novros was the eldest (he was born in New Jersey in 1909), Julian next (he was born in Illinois in 1914), and Hurtz the youngest (born in Chicago in 1919).
Novros got a little antsy when the conversation drifted away from him for any length of time; I felt obliged to steer it back in his direction whenever I became aware of his impatience. He was a little prickly, as Hurtz and Julian were not. But he was a highly regarded academic as well as a filmmaker, serving as an adjunct professor for many years at USC (George Lucas was one of his students), and so he could be said to be entitled to a certain professorial brusqueness.
I sent complete copies of the transcript to Novros, Hurtz, and Julian so they could amend it as they saw fit, and in keeping with his personality as I observed it, Novros made far more extensive revisions (usually minor changes in wording) than Hurtz or Julian did. The interview as I’ve published it here incorporates the revisions that all three men made, except for inconsequential changes in punctuation. I’ve also deleted a few passages when the interview seemed to be heading up a blind alley. But otherwise what’s here is a faithful reflection of what was said that afternoon in Van Nuys.