George Martin congratulates Robert Balser, after The Beatles Yellow Submarine preview for the digitally restored 1968 animated feature, screened at British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), presented by the Times News Paper. Bob Balser joint animation director on Yellow Submarine and George Martin CBE, Beatles record producer, who supervised the music on the film. Piccadilly, London, UK, 23rd May 2012
Robert Balser (1928 - 2016)
Robert Balser was the joint animation director at TVC in London on "Yellow Submarine" the Beatles animated feature film released in 1968. He afterwards worked on the The Jackson 5, TV series for Halas & Bachelor Animation also in London.
Robert Balser relocated to Barcelona, Spain and started his own cartoon animation studio, PEGBAR PRODUCTIONS in 1972, initially to make additional episodes of the Jackson 5, for ABC. During the next 25 years Pegbar Productions activities included, work on the Emmy award winning, "The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe" with Bill Melendez and TVC; various cinema shorts with Depatie-Freleng; various TV series, Fang Face for Ruby Spears; Peanuts with Bill Melendez; Los Mundos de Yupi for Spain; Barney for BBC; The Fantastic World of Minus for TVC Catalunya; and hundreds of TV commercials, documentaries, and shorts.
Bob Balser's cartoon film company's name PEGBAR PRODUCTIONS was a reference to the animation 'Peg Bar' that held the animators drawing in register. Since Pegbar Productions was based in Barcelona, he was asked how that translated in Spanish?
"no there was no translation of Pegbar Productions. Yes, even then we had to explain the reference to non-animation clients, even, of course, the non-Spanish ones. And yes, like the slide rule for architects, the pegbar is if not quite, almost obsolete. (sob)" Bob Balser
Bob Balser closed Pegbar Productions in 1993. He directed the TV series "The Triplets" for TV3 and Cromosoma Productions, in Barcelona. In 1997 Balser set up an Animation Program in Cairo, Egypt, for the International Executive Service Corp. In 1997-1999 he supervised American and European TV series at Denge Animation in Turkey.
Balser was on the board (vice-president) of ASIFA and for 14 years the President of CARTOON, the Animation group supported by the European MEDIA Program.
In 1999 American Bob Balser returned to the U.S and he was invited to give seminars and courses at various film schools and universities. He is an active member of the Short Films and Animation Feature branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and also the Los Angeles branch of BAFTA.
Balser for Triage Motion Picture Services consulted on colour management for the digital restoration on the the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" animated feature for release to DVD in 2012, the film that he had originally worked on in 1968.
Location: Piccadilly, London, England
Photographer: Richard Keith Wolff