September 29, 1952 |
Gábor Csupó (Hungarian: Csupó Gábor, pronounced [tʃupoː ɡaːbor]; born September 29, 1952) is a Hungarian-born animator, writer, film director and music producer. He is co-founder of the animation studio Klasky Csupo, which has produced shows like Rugrats, Duckman, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
After four years at the Pannónia Filmstúdió animation studios, Csupó immigrated to the West in 1975. While working in Sweden he met Arlene Klasky, an American-born animator. The two subsequently started their own company, Klasky Csupo, which produced many popular animated television shows.
Before starting Klasky Csupo he emigrated to the United States in the late 1970s and began working as an animator for Hanna-Barbera on a few shows such as Casper and the Angels, Scooby and Scrappy-Doo and The World's Greatest Super Friends.
Klasky Csupo animated the short cartoons about the Simpson family which appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show (1987-1989) and continued this role on the half-hour adaptation of the characters, entitled The Simpsons, for its first three seasons (1989-1992). Csupó was credited as "animation executive producer" and "supervising animation director". Klasky Csupo animator and colorist Gyorgyi Peluce conceived the idea of the Simpsons characters having yellow skin, and Marge Simpson having blue hair, opting for something which "didn't look like anything that had come before." Csupó liked the idea, although many of the show's producers at production company Gracie Films disapproved. He noted "everybody kept saying, 'You can't have people with yellow skin', and I said, 'Why not?'" Csupo successfully persuaded the producers and the show's creator Matt Groening to approve of the colors. Groening liked the idea, feeling that attempts to re-create human skintone on cartoons always appeared "freakish". Groening said of Csupó and Klasky, "What I love about them is their stuff looks like no one else." The character design of The Simpsons character Dr. Nick Riviera is based somewhat on Csupó. The show's animators mistakenly believed the character's voice actor, Hank Azaria, was impersonating Csupó, but Azaria said the voice was actually a "bad" imitation of Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy.
In 1992, Gracie Films switched domestic production of The Simpsons to Film Roman. Csupó was "asked [by Gracie Films] if they could bring in their own producer [to oversee the animation production]," but declined, stating "they wanted to tell me how to run my business." Sharon Bernstein of The Los Angeles Times wrote that "Gracie executives had been unhappy with the producer Csupo had assigned to The Simpsons and said the company also hoped to obtain better wages and working conditions for animators at Film Roman." "The Gracie statement to the Times was a bogus statement, as their action was for revenge and nothing else. All of my employees were better paid than anywhere else in the industry, and my producer did an excellent job. I stood up for my producer,(Sherry Gunther) because the only thing she did was asking Fox TV to pay for all of Gracie Films' changes after their approval of all aspects of production. Gracie Films did not like that their mistakes were revealed to the Network and demanded firing of an innocent hard working producer" -Csupo states. " Of course I refused to do that!" Of the 110 people he employed to animate The Simpsons, Csupó had to lay off 75. In the same year, Klasky Csupo went on to produce other shows for Viacom/Nickelodeon and USA Networks, and hired almost all of the laid off artists back plus hired about 500 more. Shows produced including Rugrats, Duckman, " The Wild Thornberrys" "Rocket Power", "As Told By Ginger" "All Grown Up" "Santo Bugito" " Stressed Eric" "Immigrants" and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. His company Klasky Csupo also produced several TV movies and 4 Feature Animated movies for Paramount Pictures: "The Rugrats Movie", "Rugrats Go Wild" "Rugrats in Paris" and The Wild Thornberry's Movie" The "Rugrats Movie" became the very first animated movie on the world to surpass the $100M domestic box-office outside of Walt Disney!
His record label, Tone Casualties, founded in 1994, released several industrial, noise, ambient and experimental music releases, including discs by Holger Czukay, Drew Neumann, Paul Schütze, Kuroi Mori, Borut Kržišnik, Wahorn, Controlled Bleeding and his own works (often recorded under the reversed pseudonym "Opus Crobag").
He now has six children (two of which are from his business partner and ex-wife, Arlene Klasky), Jarrett, Brandon, Ruby, Bowie, Romeo and Kelcy Csupo. Csupó is a big fan of Frank Zappa and credits Zappa with helping him learn the English language. His collection of Zappa albums were the only items he took with him when he fled his native Hungary in the 1970s. When he worked on The Simpsons, he and Matt Groening, a fellow Zappa fanatic, tried unsuccessfully to persuade the series' producers to use Zappa's music on the show. Nonetheless, he was successful in securing the rights to Zappa's music for Duckman, and its first season contained songs from throughout Zappa's career including "Peaches en Regalia" and "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance."
- "Biography". Klasky Csupo. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Honey, I shrunk the cartoons". The Independent (London). 24 January 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- Bernstein, Sharon (1992-01-21). "'The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms". Los Angeles Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- O'Connor, John J. (21 February 1990). "Prime-Time Cartoon of Unbeautiful People". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- Ortved, John (2009). Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it (UK ed.). Ebury Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-09-192729-5.
- Cagle, Daryl. "The David Silverman Interview". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Sheff, David (June 2007). "Matt Groening". Playboy 54 (6). Archived from the original on 2007-10-13.
- Graham, Jefferson (February 7, 1995). "Animators' own little angels inspire 'Monsters'". USA Today. p. 3D.
- Silverman, David (2003). Commentary for the episode "Saturdays of Thunder", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season [DVD]. Twentieth Century Fox.
- Azaria, Hank (2004). The Simpsons The Complete Fourth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Triple Bypass" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- "The rugrats' real mom and dad". Business Week. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- "Gabor Csupo Interview, Director Bridge to Terabithia". Moviesonline.ca. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Animator and animated TV show producer Gabor Csupo has his four-bedroom, 4,240-square-foot (394 m2) oceanfront house in Honolulu on the market for $5.5M". Retrieved 27 January 2010.