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Seth MacFarlane: The Creator of Family Guy
Animator Genius, Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane's Animation Domination
King of Prime Time Animation
I'm no stranger to animation, being a long-time aspiring animator and a self-proclaimed animation enthusiast. My love for animation goes back for decades, but though I had my animation heroes - Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, Tex Avery, Don Bluth, and Frank Braxton - Seth MacFarlane holds a special place in my heart.
If you know me personally, you'd soon discover my borderline obsession over this current animation giant. Though if you are am animation lover, like I am, it's not hard to see why Seth MacFarlane is one of my top ranked animators.Before creating the worldwide animation sensation, Family Guy, Seth was making history as an artist even as a child! He also worked on beloved 90's animated television shows such as I Am Weasel, Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Laboratory, and Cow and Chicken.
With credentials such as graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design and such titles as director, voice actor, executive producer, recording artist, screenwriter, comedian, and actor - is there really a wonder why I'm terribly smitten by this man? My goal? By the end of this hub I hope that you'll at least have a new respect for this entertainment guru, Seth MacFarlane.
The Man Behind Family Guy
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born in Kent, Connecticut on October 26, 1973 to Ronald Milton MacFarlane and Ann Perry. MacFarlane developed an interest for illustration at an early age, and that his first real attempt at drawing came at age two when he drew Woody Woodpecker and Fred Flintstone. When he was five he already knew that he wanted to become an animator and began creating flip books. At the young age of nine, Seth MacFarlane started publishing a comic strip in The Kent Good Times Dispatch called 'Walter Crouton'.
Soon after graduating from high school, Seth MacFarlane attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In 1995, for his senior thesis film, MacFarlane created a short animated film called 'The Life of Larry' that would be his inspiration for his future prime time animation success, Family Guy. Seth MacFarlane's professor at RISD submitted MacFarlane's thesis film to Hanna-Barbera where he was hired a year later.
While working for Hanna-Barbera in the late 1990s, MacFarlane worked on such shows as Cow & Chicken, Johnny Bravo, and Dexter's Laboratory. He soon created a short sequel to The Life of Larry entitled Larry & Steve. It was broadcasted on Cartoon Network's What-A-Cartoon Show but unlike other popular What-A-Cartoon Show shorts that were picked up and made into full animated sitcoms (Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, etc.), Seth's shorts were thrown by the wasteside.
Fox Channel saw MacFarlane's shorts and decided to give him a budget of $50,000 to create a 15-minute short based on the characters from his Life of Larry shorts. Half a year later, the Family Guy pilot was created. Though Family Guy has been cancelled twice, it is still running strong as of 2013.
The Life of Larry
The Life of Larry is an animated film created in 1995 by Seth MacFarlane as his senior thesis film while he was attending Rhode Island School of Design.
The plot centers around Larry Cummings, his wife named Lois, his son named Milt, and his articulate dog, Steve. Larry realizes that he and his son doesn't spend much time together, so Larry and Steve tries to find something for Larry and Milt to do so they can bond.
Larry and Steve are the "first draft" look of Peter and Brian Griffin. Even in The Life of Larry, Seth MacFarlane's infamous cut-away scenes are present. Most cut-away gags were used in the first season of Family Guy.
Larry & Steve
Larry & Steve starts off as Larry adopts Steve from the dog pound because he finds out that Steve is a talking dog. Steve and Larry goes on a fast paced daily life adventure. Upon driving to the store to pick up suitable furniture, Larry mentions a store named "Stewie" that would later be the name of Peter Griffin's youngest son on Family Guy.
There are few gags in Larry & Steve that also made it to Seth MacFarlane's breakout prime time television show, Family Guy. Even the pilot that crashes his plane into the Quality Furniture store in Larry & Steve has sounds like, and has physical appearance of Glen Quagmire in Family Guy, who is also a pilot.
What's your favorite Seth MacFarlane television show?
The Billion Dollar Brain
The Wonders of Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane is indeed more than just a name behind art. He's accomplished more than most in the animation industry. Most people just see Seth MacFarlane as a crude humor animator with no "real talent", but there's more to him than just animating. Seth is more than just an animator, he's also a director, screenwriter, the 85th Academy Awards host, producer, voice actor, Saturday Night Live host, comedian, roast host, twice nominated for a Grammy for his CD called "Music Is Better Than Words", and he is a very accomplished pianist. Besides for all the titles listed, Seth MacFarlane is also the creator of Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show.
Seth MacFarlane has many accomplishments under his belt, but he's also working on several upcoming projects that will be ready in the near future. MacFarlane was contracted to redo The Flintstones that was recently cancelled. Though it does seem that there's nothing that Seth MacFarlane can't overcome. Seth Green - the creator of Robot Chicken and the voice of Chris Griffin on Family guy - had his show, Robot Chicken cancelled, but Seth MacFarlane was able to get it back on the air. They even did an episode about it. (See video on the right.)