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Thursday, February 09, 2006

LADD, Fred

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Editor, Director, Producer, Voice Director, Creative Consultant, Writer

Bio Summary

Fred Ladd is probably best known to the animation industry for the supervising of the colorizations of Popeye, Betty Boop and Looney Tunes cartoons. He is also known to the anime fans as the one who brought in the anime boom with the introduction of Astro Boy, Gigantor, Kimba the White Lion and 8th Man. His most recent project(according to was as creative consultant to the hit shojo-anime, Sailor Moon back in 1995. With the help of ASIFA-Hollywood and various animation historians, Fred is also becoming more and more well known to the public as one of the creators of the original space epics of the 1950's--The Space Explorers(1957) and Pinocchio in Outer Space(1957). 
Fred Ladd always wanted to go into the business of making children's programming, be it the radio or TV or cartoons. He moved from Ohio to New York because that's where all the radio, and later, TV, business was. In New York, he worked on a project called The Space Explorers, which was initially meant to be a feature length-film--but when it was sold to television networks, it was split up into episodes. The show featured teardrop-like airships of War of the Worlds/1939 design, and was a big hit--there were no other space epics like it at that time(1957). With Sputnik up in space, it was a perfect time for TV and film to delve into the topic of outer space, and that is what Fred Ladd did. Around the same time of Sputnik and Space Explorers, Fred also worked on a film called Pinocchio in Outer Space. These two films got NBC to recognize Fred Ladd as a director, and they looked to hire him for the American version of some show called Tetsuwan Atom.

Early Life/Family

Education/Training: Fredd Ladd attended two years at a community college, then graduated from a higher State University in Columbus, Ohio. His major was Radio Programming, since at the time of graduation, radio was the way to go.


Career Outline

1927-Born in Toledo, Ohio.
1957-The Space Explorers and Pinocchio in Outer Space.
1958-The Space Explorers airs on National TV
1963-Directed English Adaptation of Astro Boy
1964-Directed English Adaptation of Gigantor
1965-Partook in production of Speed Racer
1974-Writer for Journey Back to Oz
1995-Creative Consultant for Sailor Moon

Comments On Style

Apparently, he's not a fan of violence, he made this clear in his interview with Right Stuf Anime. But that's because, of course, he's a writer for children's TV shows. For instance, there were many scenes removed from episodes of Sailor Moon because they were just too violent for American children(ex: a plant uses its vines to practically strangle the main character of Sailor Moon). 
Of course, Fred Ladd also ingeniously edited Astro Boy in such a way that the pilots were irresistible to NBC. He did this by taking half of the first episode and half of the third episode to create on exciting pilot episode which still managed to introduce the viewer to the characters without it getting too boring.



Very sharp and very entertaining to listen to. Like many people who are or were in the Animation business, Fred loves to talk about the his experiences in the business. If I weren't busy holding a phone up to the speakers on my laptop(my primitive way of recording the interview), I would have spent 3 more days talking with him, and would have enjoyed every minute of it.


It wasn't the NBC network executives that brought Astro Boy and Gigantor to the states--but the downstairs division of the company--NBC Enterprises. 
-On two occasions, Fred Ladd has dealt with and worked on shows by Japanese people who became overnight success'--the first was Osamu Tezuka and Astro Boy, and the second was Naoko Takeuchi who created Sailor Moon. 
-Fred is charmed by the humanity of most of the characters in the Japanese cartoons he's worked on including Astro Boy, Gigantor, Speed Racer and Sailor Moon. 
-Fred was amazed that Sailor Moon was so violent, and yet was meant for kids. 
-Also believes that the upcoming Speed Racer film will be a smash hit this summer at the box office.



The Space Explorers(1957)(Editor, Director, Assistant Producer and Writer)

Pinocchio in Outer Space(1957)(Producer, Editor and Writer)

The Underseas Explorers(1961)(Editor, Director and Writer) 

Astro Boy(1963)(Writer and Voice Director)

The Big World of Little Adam(1964)(Producer)

Gigantor(1965)(Writer and Voice Director)

Kimba the White Lion(1965)(Writer and Voice Director)

Speed Racer(uncredited) (1965)(Writer)

Pinocchio in Outer Space(relaunched in episodic fashion, 1965)(Producer)

Journey Back to Oz(1974)(Associate Producer)

The Wizard of Oz(1982)(Creative Consultant)
G-Force: Guardians of Space(1987)(Voice Director)

Sailor Moon(1995) (Creative Consultant and Editor)


A Venezuelan person recently knocked on Fred Ladd's door, asking if he could project The Big World of Little Adam shows on the Venezuelan Planetarium's dome--The Big World of Little Adam is very big in Venezuela.

Related Links
Fred Ladd: An Interview by Harvey Deneroff


Contributors To This Listing

Anthony De Pari(author of this article), the people at the Big Cartoon Database, Right Stuf's Anime Today Podcast, Harvey Deneroff, Fred Ladd himself, and Larry Loc

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