Al Brodax - Rotten Tomatoes

Al Brodax

Highest Rated:   96% Yellow Submarine (1968)
Lowest Rated:   96% Yellow Submarine (1968)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Not Available
Al Brodax specialized in animated entertainment during his three decades in the entertainment business as a producer, mostly making cartoons for the small-screen -- the best known of these, at least to viewers born after 1952, were the early 1960s incarnations of Popeye, Snuffy Smith and Barney Google, Krazy Kat, and Beetle Bailey. But Brodax was also one of the businessmen who recognized a good thing when he saw (and heard) the Beatles in 1964 -- and in doing so, he ended up earning his sole big-screen credit as a producer, for the animated feature Yellow Submarine (1968). Brodax was born in New York City in 1926. He served in the army during World War II and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he went to work for the William Morris Agency, where he became involved with television production on series such as Omnibus. Brodax joined King Features Syndicate in 1960 as head of their film and television development division, utilizing the company's array of print cartoons from the newspapers in cartoons intended for the small-screen. His first project was Popeye, which -- as a cartoon character -- had previously been in the hands of Max Fleischer and Paramount Pictures for a combined total of 25 years. In the economic and entertainment world of 1960, the was no chance that Brodax could match the quality of the cartoons that Fleischer or his successor, Seymour Kneitel, had delivered to theaters in previous decades. Rather, he aimed for quantity and variety where quality was impossible to achieve. Brodax released 200 cartoon shorts (made at five different studios) over the next three years. These Popeye cartoons were distinctly different from the previous on-screen incarnations of the spinach-eating sailor, reaching back to elements of the comic strip that had been dropped by Fleischer and his successors. And while they weren't groundbreaking in technical terms -- the animation was severely limited, and the pacing, especially when compared to the 1930s and 1940s Popeyes, was downright leaden -- they proved popular enough with younger viewers to justify more efforts with other King Features characters. During the years 1962-64, Brodax produced further series devoted to Snuffy Smith and Barney Google, Beetle Bailey, and Krazy Kat -- these were paced far better and showed some genuine satirical flashes that made them much better received than the Popeyes. And the Krazy Kat cartoons, in particular, have an enduring appeal due to their stylized look and bizarre, grating characterizations, akin in some ways to the work of Jay Ward (Crusader Rabbit, Hoppity Hooper, Rocky & Bullwinkle etc.). In 1964, Brodax signed what proved to be the most important contract of his career, this time on behalf of King Features with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, to produce a series of cartoons built around the Liverpool rock quartet. At the time, no one had ever created a cartoon show built around a rock & roll performer -- Elvis Presley had merchandising rights out on various paraphernalia and souvenirs, but this was a wholly new notion in television programming. The resulting cartoon shorts were built around the images and music of the band and its members, which included the rights to use their songs in the narrative. Though the characterizations and voicings -- apart from that of Ringo -- were sometimes very strange, these were immensely popular on American television. They aired on Saturday mornings and were in production until 1966, and appeared in reruns right into the early 1970s. And silly as the plots were, they've since become favorites in the collector's market in unauthorized VHS and DVD editions. Brodax was busy with these and other projects -- including the animated series Cool McCool, and a failed live-action vehicle, a half-hour Marty Allen/Steve Rossi program called Hello Dere -- over the next few years. In late 1966, however, he began developing an idea for a full-length fea

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96% Yellow Submarine
  • Producer

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