“I Say, I Say . . . Son!”: A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson by Robert McKimson Jr.

Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and Friz Freleng are perceived as the animators who built the foundation of the Warner Brothers animation studio. The McKimson brothers, Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson all played significant roles in the success of the studio but are seldom mentioned in the same breathe. Bob McKimson the better known of the three brothers did not get the public accolades that his contemporaries of the time still enjoy today.

Bob McKimson created classic characters such as Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil, Sylvester Jr. and Speedy Gonzales. Tom and Chuck McKimson besides being animators  were also illustrators for Dell Comics and Golden Books. “I Say, I Say . . . Son!”: A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson is a new book that explores the sibling animator trio who not only animated for Warner Brothers, but also contributed to Pink Panther and Mr. Magoo. Robert McKimson Jr., the son of late Bob McKimson offers up  a richly illustrated body of work from his family archives. The never before seen illustrations demonstrate that Bob McKimson was a workhorse among the other animators of the time. Finally the trio are getting the long overdue exposure.

John Kricfalusi of Ren and Stimpy fame writes a enthralling lengthy forward explaining why Bob, Chuck and Tom McKimson played a significant role in his own work. Some of the most elaborate exaggerated perspective animation sequences were created by Bob McKimson which are emulated by animators of today. Bob was trained by the early Disney studio system and if left there he would as famous as the other non entities that emerged out of that system. Warner Brothers gave him and the other animators the flexibility to explore their imagination to new heights. Those type of creative urges were stifled and frowned down upon in the Disney system.

Foghorn Leghorn, Bob’s lovable loud mouth southern rooster is perhaps a contradiction to the behind the scenes animator.  Henery Hawk was not created by Bob, however he defined the character when paired with Foghorn Leghorn. If I may indulge and take a few words that I think Henery Hawk might say about this book, I think he would say, “buy this book, you schnook!