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Producers vs Animators 1980
The Challenge!!

(Original Challenge Memo)

Words and Images care of Darrel Van Citters:

A number of animators would play volleyball almost every day at lunch and often at the 3 PM break on the court just north of the old Animation building. It’s now a parking lot at the side entrance to the studio. I forget what prompted it but I decided to challenge Ron Miller to a volleyball match, probably since he was sports minded and competitive. I sent the challenge via inter-office mail and amazingly, he took us up on it and got together his team from the third floor, all producers. Ron had the studio provide his team with uniforms from the costume department, we all wore our delightful seventies clothes. Tom Wilhite was even enlisted and was provided a uniform but he declined.

Tim Burton was given the name “Backman” as I recall, for doing amazing plays from the back line during our regular games. The match of three games was played after work one day with the winners taking the best two out of three. As expected, Ron was very competitive and got a little annoyed at the play of his teammates. Mind you, we played every day, often twice a day and Ron and his team had never played together before. Late in the second game, we tried to back off but we couldn’t even make it to three games as you can tell by the lopsided scores in both games. After the rout, Ron Miller proposed we meet at Don’s Place, a burger and beer joint up the street on Olive, just past the old Genio’s restaurant, and across from the park.

(Take a close look at these signatures.)

The place has since burned down. We all had burgers and drinks there and I brought along a contract that Gale Musker had hand lettered in nice calligraphy that essentially gave us control of the studio for winning the volleyball match. Everyone of Ron’s team signed it in one form or another, with Ron using a big “X’ for his name. They were all good sports and everyone had a good time. Looking back on it, it was kind of amazing to play volleyball with Moochie and Andy Burnett. Or that you could get the head of a studio to play volleyball with a bunch of lowly animators. Those days evaporated in a flash, never to return.

Too see the Producers vs Animators volley ball game care of Randy Cartwright click here.


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Labels: 1980, Animators

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