"Chuck Jones was the vice president in charge of children's programming at ABC at that time, and he was a friend of mine, and I got a message to him because I was really concerned, and I said 'What happens if I don't deliver?' Balser said. "A few weeks later, one of his assistants came over -- we were working on some other things as well -- and we went out to lunch, and he said to me, 'By the way, I've got a message for you from Chuck: You do not not deliver.' "
Balser, who is now retired and living in California, says there have been vast changes in the animation field since the days of hand-drawn cartoons.
"It is losing something, because there's something about hand-drawn animation," he said. "I don't know whether this is because I'm nostalgic for it or what, but as somebody said, 'The difference between hand-drawn animation and computer animation is, computer animation doesn't have a soul.' "
Of course, he doesn't think all is lost.
"There's one thing that hasn't changed, and that is communication, story, idea. When you're making a film, the basics still come down to: Did you have a good script? Is it well-presented? Once it's prepared, the technique of animation doesn't really make a difference anymore."