Interview: Chris Savino

When Genndy Tartakovsky and crew left Dexter’s Laboratory for other projects, Cartoon Network realized the popularity the series had gained and made an effort to bring the series back. Enter Chris Savino. An accomplished storyboard artist from the original run of Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, he has taken the full time position of director from season three and four.

In addition to his accomplishments, headed up the successful remake of the Flintstones, captures in a Cartoon Theater movie titled Flintstones on the Rocks.

CNF: The Fansite: How did you get started in animation? Did you go to school for it?

C. Savino: Luck. I think it was a moment of right place right time. John Krisfalusi gave me my first job when I was 19 on Ren and Stimpy. I couldn’t afford school so I took the train as my work route.

CNF: The Fansite: Aside from cartoons, what are some of your other hobbies?

C. Savino: Seeing as being a cartoonist has been my life long goal, that is my hobby. I hope to someday sell a syndicated comic strip to the newspapers.

CNF: The Fansite: What was it like to work on Ren & Stimpy? What do you think of the series returning to TNN?

C. Savino: It was amazing as well as eye opening. Here you have a studio full of the most talented cartoonists poised to turn the entire slumping cartoon industry around and here I come thinking I know it all. I quickly realized that I had (and still have) a lot to learn.

CNF: The Fansite: Did you work on the newer Flintstones Cartoon Network interstitials? If so, have you done any others?

C. Savino: No. Only one Dexter interstitial. The one when he receives the latest issue of WRENCH magazine in the mail.

CNF: The Fansite: Now that Cartoon Network Studios has had some success with some remakes of classic Hanna Barbera characters, such as in Flintstones on the Rocks. Would it be in your interest to make another Flintstones film or perhaps series of the classic?

C. Savino: I would love to do a new run of Flintstones as a series. I think that the comic formula is timeless and if done right could do very well.

CNF: The Fansite: When you and David Smith took charge of “Dexter’s Laboratory”, you made several changes, such as in the art style, and plot histories. Any reason for this? What was Genndy Tartakovsky’s response to the changes?

C. Savino: Well, it had been a couple of years since any of us had done anything on Dexter’s. We were all busy making the PPG’s. So when the opportunity came up to do more we all kind of felt it was a chance to fix the things we were unhappy with as well as experiment on the over all look of the show. Some things worked and some didn’t but we had a great time making them and I feel no matter how they look that they are great cartoons. Genndy supported us the whole way as well as offering some ideas for change of his own.

CNF: The Fansite: You have worked on the DC Comic series of Dexter’s Laboratory, what was that like in comparison to working on the show?

C. Savino: My experience on the show actually helped me in the comics. I found that I was not only able to do fun drawings and words but also timing as well.

CNF: The Fansite: Are they any plans for another Dexter’s Laboratory special or movie?

C. Savino: None that I am aware of but never say never.

CNF: The Fansite: Dexter, the Justice Friends, and other characters have made some cameos on the Powerpuff Girls. The “Talking Dog” has made an appearance on Samurai Jack. Can we expect any cameos next season?

C. Savino: Hmmm. None that I can think of off the top of my head but keep your eyeballs peeled maybe you’ll spot something that I didn’t.

CNF: The Fansite: What can we expect from future episodes of Dexter? Have you made any changes based on fan reactions?

C. Savino: The episodes will be decidedly sillier than last. We were trying to figure ourselves out last season and now are more relaxed and having fun. I wouldn’t say that changes were made on fan reaction cuz I feel you can’t please everybody. ( some people do like the new eps) But I think that the changes you will see in this season coming up should be pleasing.

CNF: The Fansite: What are some of your favorite episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory?

C. Savino: Old Man Dexter, Muffin King, Dim.

CNF: The Fansite: What projects are you involved with right now?

C. Savino: Right now we are nearing the end of pre-production on Dexter. Post production will go through March of 2003. I don’t have anything else lined up at the moment

CNF: The Fansite: Thanks for the interview.

C. Savino: No, Thank you.