Akira Kurosawa, David Lean and Alfred Hitchcock were the main inspirations for 'Samurai Jack,' along with a lot of '70s cinema.
I've done a lot of dance sequences because I like them; I like to animate dancing because it's fun and visual.
The funny thing is, I was not a fan of horror when I was a kid. I was scared to watch scary movies. And then along came 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,' and 'Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.' And I like those films because they made scary funny, and it was kind of ironic that I ended up doing the 'Hotel' movies.
There was a show I loved as a kid: 'The Blue Falcon & Dynomutt.'
My love of visual sequences stems from live-action films like Sergio Leone westerns, Kurosawa, some '70s action films, Tex Avery, and my general love of animated movement.
'Samurai' is not an animated show like you would normally watch on TV. We tell the stories from a different perspective - backward, very nonlinear. It treats it more seriously as an art form.
I'm a very happy, optimistic person.
A good cartoon is always good on two or three levels: surface physical comedy, some intellectual stuff - like Warner Brothers cartoons' pop-culture jokes, gas-rationing jokes during the war - and then the overall character appeal.
The whole style of 'Hotel Transylvania' isn't really goofy. Their castle, it's not super tall; it's almost normal sized.
I've always been in love with samurais, that kind of classic idea about a hero who has a sword with an intense skill and is very stoic and doesn't talk much.
We use music, cinematic storytelling and very stylized backgrounds to create mood and atmosphere as 'Samurai Jack' travels an exotic landscape. The environment is a major character in each show.
Stories are important, but I'm really into characters, and if you can give birth to a good one, that's true success.