This 1983 production layout from "Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown" features Lucy and Schroeder at the piano. A classic moment captured in creation.
About Bill Melendez:
Born November 15, 1916 in Hermosillo, Mexico, (Bill) Melendez spent much of his early art career working for animation companies such as Disney and Warner Bros. Cartoons.
In 1964, he founded his own production company, Bill Melendez Productions Inc. and alongside his commercial work, Bill produced his first television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Despite being forced to bring it in on a short schedule and tight budget, he managed to garner both an Emmy Award (the first of eight) and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Children/Young People's program. The show is a classic, having aired on CBS-TV every year since. The stentorian tenor behind Snoopy's vocalizations, by the way, is the same Bill Melendez drawing Snoopy's aquiline nose.
In 1967 the Television Academy gave three nominations to Bill Melendez; two for producing the outstanding children's program for Charlie Brown's All-Stars and for It's the Great Pumpkin. Since then he has produced over 75 half-hour specials, as well as four feature-length motion pictures: A Boy Named Charlie Brown (nominated for an Oscar), Snoopy, Come Home, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown. Melendez also has to his credit half-hour specials based on the famous Babar the Elephant books.
Bill Melendez Productions was the first to animate Jim Davis' Garfield the Cat, and that first special won an Emmy Award in '82. In '87, Bill took on the character Cathy by Cathy Guisewite, and won a Best Animated Special Emmy for that show. Several other Cathy specials have followed, as well as numerous ad campaigns featuring the character. As always, the Peanuts Gang are very visible in commercials and Bill Melendez remains their sole animator, both domestically and internationally. Current campaigns include MetLife, A&W, Chex, Regina, Hallmark, Shell Oil, and numerous European, Asian and Latin American accounts. Notable productions include a special Bill produced in 1990 with the American Cancer Society called Why Charlie Brown, Why? -- a sensitive study of what happens when a child gets cancer. In the late 80's, Melendez produced TV's first animated mini-series. Designed to teach children about American History, it was titled This is America, Charlie Brown. Recently completed is an updated rendering ofFrosty the Snowman, in association with Lorne Michaels and Broadway Video, and starring the voices of Jonathan Winters and John Goodman.