Dave preferred working on the wackier side of animation, that is why he said his biggest influence has been the legendary Tex Avery, who was famous for creating the wackiest gags in Warner Bros and MGM cartoons during the 30's and 40's. In the 70's, Dave went to listen to one of his lectures and learned about his experience at Warner Bros. and stories of how he dealt with the animation company in the early years. Dave found it fascinating and remembered a line specifically that he has carried throughout his life: "I was the director on the film but the thing about being a director is you don’t have to have all of the good ideas, you just have to recognize them when they show up. So I tried to remember that."
Dave remembers that animation is a group effort and the only way for it to work is everyone’s eager cooperation. He also considers many of his co-workers his inspirations including Fred Crippen, Fred Wolf, and Vince Davis as people he considered his other inspirations who always pushed him to work harder. Dave’s taste is in the wackier side of cartoons and loved creating the out of the ordinary cartoon.
Dave was always interested in the fine line art of the famous magazines like the ones found on The New Yorker and some early Playboy magazines. He liked the fine art touch in it yet loved the wacky side of drawings. He would always think of ways to combine these two worlds. Dave also remembered that if art or animation didn’t work for him, he would have moved into journalism since he loved to write, document events, and stories.
During the 80's, Dave went back to Disney to work on the infamous The Black Cauldron, which is considered the darkest Disney film to be produced at the studio. Dave worked as an animator and as a timing director on the film. There was one scene where he was trying to animate a fierce rat to run at the main character of the film but was having trouble with it. He described his experience getting help for the scene.