|Born||February 9, 1955|
|Alma mater||School of Visual Arts|
|Occupation||Animation historian, writer|
Jerry Beck (born February 9, 1955) is an animation historian, and author. He is also an animation producer, an industry consultant to Warner Bros., and has been an executive with Nickelodeon and Disney.
Jerry Beck graduated John Bowne High School in Queens, New York City, where he was a member of the staff of Opus, the school's yearbook. While at Bowne, he was also developing his own comic art style as well as a keen interest in animated films and film in general. After high school, Beck studied at The School of Visual Arts in New York City intent on becoming a great animator. But his interest in animation's history led him to working with Leonard Maltin, becoming his research associate on the landmark book, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. In the course of doing this work, Beck became well versed in the histories and films of every Hollywood cartoon studio.
His interest in animation and knowledge of film distribution brought him to the attention of Terry Thoren's Expanded Entertainment company in 1986. With Beck's expertise, Expanded began distributing the International Tournee of Animation, The Festival of Claymation and The Puppetoon Movie to theatres. At Expanded, Beck helped organize two animation festivals (Los Angeles Animation Celebration in 1987 and 1989) and was instrumental in the creation of Animation magazine. In addition to his writing for Animation, Beck has contributed to Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Video Business, The Whole Toon Catalog, Animation Blast, Animato!, Wild Cartoon Kingdom and the on-line Animation World Magazine.
Recognized as an authority on animation, Beck taught a nine-week course at the UCLA Extension on "Animation: The State of the Art" in 1992 and conducted seminars on "The History of the Hollywood Cartoon" for the American Film Institute in 1994. In 1995 Beck taught "The History of Animation" at NYU and in the spring of 1996 taught "Promotion for Animation" at the School of Visual Arts. He was a founding member of the Cartoon Network advisory board in 1993, and serves on the board of directors of ASIFA-Hollywood, a chapter of (The International Animated Film Association). Beck is currently teaching animation history at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA.
In the 1990s, Beck co-produced a successful series of laserdisc compilations for MGM/UA Home Video, including The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, The Compleat Tex Avery and The Art of Tom & Jerry, and he has programmed over 100 video tape collections. He has been an animation consultant to Walt Disney Home Video, Warner Home Video, Rhino Records and Republic Entertainment (curating the best-selling Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection).
More recently, Beck compiled the 15 volume sets of Looney Tunes: The Collector’s Edition and Woody Woodpecker and Friends: The Collectors Edition for Columbia House. He also co-produced Somewhere in Dreamland: The Definitive Max Fleischer Color Classics for VCI Entertainment. He is now a consulting producer for the annual DVD compilation Looney Tunes Golden Collection.
In 1989, Beck partnered with producer Carl Macek to form Streamline Pictures. Streamline was the first company devoted to importing Japanese animation and distributing anime to North American theatres, television and home video. Among Streamline's many titles were Akira, Fist of the North Star, Vampire Hunter D, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Wicked City, Robotech, and Robot Carnival. Beck also co-produced the 1993 Fox English language version of My Neighbor Totoro and compiled Speed Racer: The Movie for Family Home Entertainment.
Beck parted with Streamline in 1993 to pursue other areas of animation. He became executive producer of The Baby Huey Show for The Harvey Entertainment Company Beck then joined Nickelodeon Movies as Vice President of Animation. At Nickelodeon, Beck was instrumental in developing The Rugrats Movie, and the unfinished Mighty Mouse and The Stinky Cheese Man.
From September 1997 through April 1998, Beck had an exclusive consulting and development deal with Walt Disney Television Animation. Also in 1997, Beck formed Cartoon Research Co. to write books, consult on animation projects, compile compact discs, DVDs and home video products, supply cartoon stock footage and develop new features and TV series. More recently, Beck compiled the 15 volume sets of Looney Tunes: The Collector’s Edition and Woody Woodpecker and Friends: The Collectors Edition for Columbia House. He also co-produced Somewhere in Dreamland: The Definitive Max Fleischer Color Classics for VCI Entertainment. He is now a consulting producer for the annual DVD compilation Looney Tunes Golden Collection.
In 1999, Beck produced Totally Tooned In for Columbia Tri-Star International Television, a 65-episode series that restored the Columbia theatrical cartoon library; and for Cartoon Network wrote and co-produced the special Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons.
Beck was co-creator, co-producer and co-writer of Karen and Kirby for Warner Bros. Television Animation. Thirteen Karen and Kirby interstitialss were produced and were shown on Kids' WB's The Big Cartoonie Show.
Beck was the West Coast Bureau Chief for KidScreen magazine for one year (July 2000 through July 2001), and co-wrote the 2001 Cartoon Network special Toonheads: The Wartime Cartoons. Beck also co-wrote Toonheads: The 12 Missing Hares and Toonheads: The Worst Cartoons Ever (both projects were shelved). In 2002, Beck became a writer/producer for Rubberbug Animation, which produced an award winning educational DVD project named algebra'school.
Beck has authored over fifteen books on animation subjects. Among them are Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide To The Warner Bros. Cartoons (co-authored with Will Friedwald), The Fifty Greatest Cartoons, Looney Tunes The Ultimate Visual Guide, The Hanna Barbera Treasury, The Animated Movie Guide, The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons, The Spongebob Squarepants Experience, and The Pink Panther: The Ultimate Visual Guide.
Beck's six minute cartoon short Hornswiggle, produced by Frederator Studios, aired as part of the Random! Cartoons series December 20, 2008 on Nicktoons Network. From 2007 through 2012, Beck collaborated with Mystery Science Theater 3000's Frank Conniff to produce Cartoon Dump as a monthly live comedy show at the The Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood. At the same venue the first Thursday of each month he screens a selection of classic short films and cartoons as part of a program of live, late twenties/early 30s jazz music performed by Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys. He has also programmed and hosted programs at the American Cinematheque, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Cinefamily and provided advice regarding appropriate classic cartoons to accompany features screening during a film noir festival in 2010 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On October 21, 2012 he co-hosted with Robert Osborne a program of rare animation features and shorts on Turner Classic Movies.
An annual show of Worst Cartoons has become a Friday night staple of Comic-Con International, drawing an audience of over a thousand to watch Beck's latest selection of terrible but commercially distributed television cartoon series episodes (mostly drawn from low budget 1960s syndicated programs).
Beck founded, with Amid Amidi, of the animation blog Cartoon Brew, from 2004 until February 12, 2013, when he departed and left Amidi solely in charge of the blog. Beck is currently writing two blogs, Cartoon Research and Animation Scoop.
- Friedwald, Will; Beck, Jerry (1981). The Warner Brothers Cartoons. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810813963.
- Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-0894-4.
- Beck, Jerry (1991). "I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat": Fifty Years of Sylvester and Tweety. With Shalom Auslander. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0805016449.
- Beck, Jerry (1994). The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals. Atlanta: Turner Publishing. ISBN 187868549X.
- Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1997). Warner Bros. Animation Art: The Characters, the Creators, the Limited Editions. Hugh Lauter Levin Associates. ISBN 0883633604.
- Beck, Jerry (2003). Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide. New York: DK Publishing. ISBN 0789497581.
- Beck, Beck (2003). Outlaw Animation: Cutting-Edge Cartoons from the Spike & Mike Festivals. Foreword by Todd McFarlane. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0810991519.
- Beck, Jerry, ed. (2004). Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the World of Cartoon, Anime, & CGI. New York: Harper Design International. ISBN 0060737131.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781556525919.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). Pink Panther: The Ultimate Guide to the Coolest Cat in Town. New York: DK Publishing. ISBN 0756610338.
- Beck, Jerry (2007). The Art of Bee Movie. Foreword by Jerry Seinfeld. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 9780811859516.
- Beck, Jerry (2007). The Hanna-Barbera Treasury: Rare Art and Mementos from Your Favorite Cartoon Classics. Insight Editions. ISBN 9781933784281.
- Beck, Jerry (2007). Nicktoons!. New York: Melcher Media. ISBN 9781595910431.
- Beck, Jerry (2008). The Art of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Preface by Ben Stiller. Insight Editions. ISBN 9781933784700.
- Beck, Jerry (2008). Scooby-Doo!. Insight Editions. ISBN 9781933784618.
- Beck, Jerry (2008). Tom and Jerry. Insight Editions. ISBN 9781933784625.
- Beck, Jerry, ed. (2010). The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. Foreword by Leonard Maltin. Insight Editions. ISBN 9781608870035.
- Beck, Jerry (2011). The Flintstones: The Official Guide to the Cartoon Classic. Philadelphia: Running Press. ISBN 9780762440832.
- Maltin, Leonard (1980). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Research associate: Jerry Beck. Plume. ISBN 0-452-25240-7.
- Maltin, Leonard (1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Research associate: Jerry Beck (Revised ed.). Plume. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.
- Cabarga, Leslie, ed. (2007). Harvey Comics Classics Volume One: Casper the Friendly Ghost. Introduction by Jerry Beck. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59307-781-5.
- Cabarga, Leslie, ed. (2007). Harvey Comics Classics Volume Two: Richie Rich the Poor Little Rich Boy. Introduction by Jerry Beck. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59307-848-5.
- Cabarga, Leslie, ed. (2008). Harvey Comics Classics Volume Three: Hot Stuff the Little Devil. Introduction by Jerry Beck. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59307-914-7.
- Cabarga, Leslie, ed. (2008). Harvey Comics Classics Volume Four: Baby Huey the Baby Giant. Introduction by Jerry Beck. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59307-977-2.
- Cabarga, Leslie, ed. (2009). Harvey Comics Classics Volume Five: The Harvey Girls Little Audrey, Little Dot & Little Lotta. Introduction by Jerry Beck. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 978-1-59582-171-3.
- Jerry Beck at the Internet Movie Database
- Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research.com
- Animation Scoop
- Cartoon Dump
- Worst Cartoon DVD
- Interview with Beck at FLIP Animation Magazine Retrieved February 2013