Paul Julian (born Paul Hull Husted on June 25, 1914 – September 5, 1995) was an American artist and designer most noted for his work as a background artist for Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes cartoon shorts. He worked primarily for director Friz Freleng's Sylvester and Tweety Bird shorts. His warm and tightly-cropped urban scenes were also featured early in his career in the 1946 Bugs Bunny short Baseball Bugs, and in the crime syndicate-themed Daffy Duck short Golden Yeggs.
Born in Illinois, Julian also provided the Road Runner's "Beep-Beep!" sound. Julian first made the sound on the Warner Bros. studio lot. He imitated a car horn, as a lighthearted way to get people out of his way when he was in a hurry. Julian recorded several versions, and editor Treg Brown made more versions through speeding some up, and looping some together. These recordings were ultimately used for the Road Runner cartoons. Julian went uncredited for his voice work, due to Warner Bros.'s contract with Mel Blanc giving Blanc exclusive credit for all "voice characterizations;" no voice credits were given in shorts that did not use Blanc's voice (which included most of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote shorts).
Julian directed the animated films "Baby Boogie" (1955), and "The Hangman", which was produced by Les Goldman. The film garnered over 15 international film festival awards. He also produced (1964) and was a production designer for the 1978 anime fantasy Winds of Change (film), based on Ovid's Metamorphoses.
He died in 1995 in Van Nuys, California.
References and notes
- There is confusion over whether the sound made is "beep beep" or "meep meep". In this YouTube clip, the sound is clearly labeled "beep beep". According to Michael Barrier in his commentary for "Fast and Furry-ous" on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 DVD: "Even though the expression was spelled 'beep beep' on the screen, and that the word 'beep' was used in many subsequent Road Runner cartoon titles, Paul Julian insisted that the correct spelling was 'H-M-E-E-P"; 'hmeep hmeep', rather than 'beep beep'."
- The interviews included in the DVD commentary were recorded by animation historian Michael Barrier for his book Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age.