Though he now may be running with A-listers on the big screen, Genndy Tartakovsky hasn’t forgotten his TV roots.
The animator behind such hits as Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and the original Star Wars: Clone Wars shorts made the jump to features with Hotel Transylvania, which opens Friday. It’s a project that paired him with such voice talent as Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez. Tartakovsky says that while there was a whole lot that was different about working on a movie, some of it reminded him of his days on TV.
“The whole thing about TV is it’s a tremendous grind, because it’s so fast and anything you put on paper is on the air six months later,” he says. “With a feature I thought, ‘Oh, I can take my time.’ And then once I got on it, it was like, ‘No, we need to release this next year’ and ‘You don’t have any time’ and ‘Go, go, go.’ That part of it ended up being kind of similar.
“But then the one thing that I realized was that the pressure is so much different. In television, if we do an episode of something and it doesn’t hit as strong, usually people will forgive you and the next episode hopefully will be better. But with movies, you work so many years and everything builds to this one moment, really one opening weekend. If … it doesn’t land, then all that work is for nothing.”
He’s also got a big-screen version of Popeye in the works, but fans of his TV work have reason to be excited, too. Tartakovsky says that long hoped-for Samurai Jack movie may finally be getting close to fruition.
Tartakovsky also says he never gets tired of hearing that people — like yours truly —prefer his version of Clone Wars to the current series.
“I’m very proud of what we did, especially under the circumstances that we did it,” he says. “We had no time, no money and it was basically five to eight of us that put it together. We were Star Wars fans, too, so obviously we wanted to be very true to it.”
Photos: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation