|"Oh yeah! Didn't we win an Emmy for that episode?" --Eddy |
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Early Life and Career
Antonucci's parents were first-generation Italian immigrants to Canada. His experiences as the child of immigrant parents deeply influenced his later work.
Antonucci was fascinated by cartoons and animation as a child and spent long hours drawing and trying to figure out how the pictures "moved". He performed puppet shows for money, and made his first cartoon at the young age of 14.
Antonucci attended the Sheridan College of Visual Arts but quit to take a job as an animator at Canimage Production, a division of Hanna-Barbera. He worked on numerous shows, including "The Smurfs," "The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show," and "The Flintstones Comedy Hour." It was on the latter show that he worked with animation legend Tex Avery.
Intending to move to Los Angeles in 1982 to find more work, Antonucci landed in Vancouver, British Columbia. He landed a job at International Rocketship Ltd., animating short films and television commercials. His first effort was on the short film, Sandboxland. He is currently married and has two children, Tex and Marlowe.
International Rocketship and MTV work
Antonucci's first solo work was Lupo the Butcher, produced by International Rocketship, about a knife-wielding maniac. Antonucci says the short arose out of his own frustration at having to work in children's film for so long, and to try his hand at creating a fully-fledged character on film. The short animated film screened at several film festivals in Europe, including the Berlin Film Festival, before gaining attention in the United States at Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. During his time with the Lupo cartoon, he also did the snoring noises to another International Rocketship released cartoon entitled "Dog Brain" which was written by fellow cartoonist J. Falconer. He also created The Jester, Cartoon Network's original mascot (also a bumper) used from 1992 to 1997.
A claim to fame, Lupo the Butcher was often played on the big screen at sets where Californian rock band Guns N' Roses played their "Use Your Illusion" Tour (1991–92). The "Lupo" character was eventually licensed by the Converse athletic shoe company. This led to additional work, including animated commercials for Levi Strauss & Co. and MTV. In 1993, still working for International Rocketship, Antonucci did a series of short commercials for MTV which depicted several brothers on a couch grunting. MTV commissioned a series, and The Brothers Grunt began airing in August 1994.
Lupo makes a reference at the credits of Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "The Eds are Coming," casted as "Lupo D. Butcher" beside Mr. Sun, most likely due to the fact Mr. Sun was actually voiced by Danny himself.
On April 1, 1994, Antonucci started the animation company A.K.A. Cartoon, which produced "The Brothers Grunt" series. Altogether, 45 seven-minute episodes aired before the series went off the air in 1995.
Antonucci returned to doing commercials. Antonucci worked for MTV on its short-lived Cartoon Sushi show in 1997, directing, writing and providing voices. He was also responsible for the title sequence of the same show.
Ed, Edd n Eddy
But feeling pigeon-holed as an angst-ridden, "edgy" artist, Antonucci decided to produce an animated children's television show again. He resolved, however, to ensure that the series was produced in a way similar to the classic cartoons of the 1940s. Antonucci spent months designing the show's look in a style reminiscent of the old United Productions of America (UPA) cartoons.
Seeking as wide an audience as possible, Antonucci shopped the show to Nickelodeon, which demanded creative control. Antonucci refused to give it, so he took the show to Cartoon Network, which quickly picked it up.
The show, Ed, Edd n Eddy, premiered on Cartoon Network on January 4, 1999. The premise is that three pre-adolescent boys — named Ed, Edd, and Eddy (collectively known as "the Eds") — hang around in their suburban neighborhood of Peach Creek Estates. Led by the avaricious Eddy, the other Eds get caught up in various schemes to make money off their peers, so they can get jawbreakers. But Eddy's plans usually fail, leaving the boys in various predicaments. The characters almost never leave the neighborhood, and adults are nowhere to be seen. Occasionally, humorous satirical references are made to Canada in the show. (In one episode, the Eds stumble upon a box of turkey basters at the local dump, and Eddy pawns them off to the neighborhood kids as "Canadian squirt guns").
According to Antonucci, plots for Ed, Edd n Eddy are taken from his own memories of suburban life and what it was like to while away idle summer vacations. One example is in "Pop Goes the Ed," on which the swimsuits snapping from the Eds was based on what really happened to Danny. He also based several stories on escapades his own two children have had.
Antonucci is a strong advocate of hand-drawn animation. The wobbling animation in Ed, Edd n Eddy is a homage to the hand-drawn cartoons with a style that harkens back to cartoons of the 1930s-1950s; the show also utilizes non-repeating solid blocks of color and simple line, and little detail in the artwork is evinced, unless it is something which has the attention of the characters. In interviews, Antonucci says this is because children rarely pay attention to detail.
Ed, Edd n Eddy was Cartoon Network's sixth Cartoon Cartoon. It first aired in 1999 and has since attracted millions of fans worldwide. Originally, there were to be four seasons. Cartoon Network, however, ordered two more seasons of Ed, Edd n Eddy, bringing the series length to six seasons. Additionally, there are three holiday specials (Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day) and a special non-canon episode for the US event, Cartoon Network Invaded. The show is the longest running original cartoon on Cartoon Network.
Post-Ed, Edd n Eddy
While Antonucci was working on Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, it was announced on September 4, 2008 that he signed to WildBrain; Antonucci stated that he was "already kicking around three different ideas for his first Wildbrain project." On June 11, 2013, animator Joe Murray posted a short interview with Antonucci for his class on his website, and on the end wrote: "He's currently working on a new series, so rock on."
In 2017, a pilot for Antonucci's new series, Snotrocket was released.
|The Adventures of Barfman||1971||Director, Writer, Composer|
|Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo||1979–1981||Animator|
|The Flintstone Comedy Show||1980-1982||Animator|
|International Rocketship Ltd||1984–1994||Animator of Short Films|
|Hooray for Sandbox Land||1984||Lead Animator|
|The Velveteen Rabbit||1985||Animator|
|Tales of the Mouse Hockey League||1987||Character Designer, Key Animator||Short|
|The Chipmunk Adventure||1987||Assistant Animator|
|Lupo The Butcher||1987||Design, Animation, Direction|
|MTV ID's||1989–1993||Lead Animator, Director|
|Rocko's Modern Life||1993||Storyboard|
|The Brothers Grunt||1994–1995||Creator, Writer|
|Lupo's Nightmare||1995||Director, Writer, Composer|
|Ed, Edd n Eddy||1999–2009||Creator, Writer, Director|
|Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show||2009||Creator, Writer, Director||TV movie|
|Snotrocket||2017||Creator, Writer, Director||Pilot|
- In the The Best Day Edder marathon, Antonucci revealed his e-mail address is yak(@)akacartoon.com.
- According to the book "Outlaw Animation," Danny had plans for an animated horror film that he has been writing for the past 7 years.
- Danny is friends with Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi.
- There are many references to Danny's name, and various nicknames of his, on the show.
- Ex: the last name of the principal of Peach Creek Jr. High is Antonucci.
- Danny Antonucci voices Mr. Sun in "The Eds are Coming," where he is credited as 'Lupo D. Butcher.'
- In addition to being an animator, he is also an avid bassist.
- In a recent interview with animator Joe Murray, Danny Antonucci announced he is creating a new series on WildBrain.
- Danny created The Jester, the mascot used throughout the network's checkerboard era.