Review: Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation

FilmationLou Scheimer with Andy Mangels

TwoMorrow Books, out now

A detailed look at the life and career of animation legend Lou Scheimer.

Lou Scheimer, who died mid-October shortly before his 84th birthday, was one of those people who had a large effect on a generation of television viewers, but whose name might well have been unfamiliar to the vast majority of them. However the shows for which he was responsible are some of the most well-remembered, particularly by American audiences – from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to Jason of Star Command; the animated adventures of Superman, Batman, or the crew of the Starship Enterprise.

Filled with anecdotes about the creation of the shows – from the company-saving arrival of The Adventures of Superman, to the very long gestation of Filmation’s sequel to The Wizard of Oz – this is a very personal view of a very creative time. Some of Filmation’s projects were developments of other people’s original concepts, but they always gave their own spin to them – Superman, Wonder Woman and Lassie could turn up on a show about The Brady Bunch (or The Brady Kids, as they were in this incarnation), without causing the sort of production problems a live-action show would face. The forays into live action are also covered, but like Gerry Anderson before him, Scheimer found that the industry wanted the sorts of shows they associated with him.

Verdict: With some pithy comments about the state of television animation in the twenty-first century, this is a fascinating insight behind the scenes of some television legends. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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