Bird to be Feted at Tex Fest

Oscar-winner Brad Bird, director of the beloved animated films The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, will receive the first-ever at the Deep Ellum Film Festival (DE/F2) on Sunday, Nov. 13. Taking place at the North Dallas High School, which Avery attended, the event will be hosted by popular childrens’ author William Joyce (George Shrinks, Rolie Polie Olie) and film critic Gary Cogill. Tex Avery’s daughter, Nancy Avery Arkley, will also make an apperance.

Bird got an early start in animation when his first animated short got noticed by Walt Disney Studios, where was mentored by the great Milt Kahl at the age of 14. He later got a job on Disney’s The Fox and the Hound and shortly after worked with Klasky-Csupo to develop a series of animatd shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show into The Simpsons. Having contributed to such TV series as Amazing Stories (‘Family Dog’ episode), The Critic and King of the Hill, Bird was hired by Warner Bros. to direct The Iron Giant. Though it was a box-office flop, the feature was prased by critics, and attrcted the attnetion of Pixar co-founder and director John Lasseter, whom Bird met as a student at CalArts. The rest is history as The Incredibles became a huge worldwide hit and won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Tex Avery is best known as the creator of such cartoon icons as Daffy Duck, Droopy Dog, Screwy Squirrel and Chilly Willy. Following a stint at Walter Lantz Studios, he helmed some 60 cartoons in the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes series at Warner Bros., and worked as a toon director at MGM From 1942 to 1954.

DE/F2′s Texas Avery Animation Award presentation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 3120 North Haskell Avenue. Admission is $10 with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Katrina victims suffering from cancer. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.def2.org or call 214.752.6759.