Friday, January 20, 2006

Norm McCabe (1911 - 2006)

Animator Norman McCabe, best-known for the cartoons he directed at Warner Brothers in the early '40s, has died at the age of 94. (Scroll down to the bottom for the obit.)

He was an animator for Bob Clampett, and when Clampett took over Tex Avery's old unit, McCabe became director for Clampett's old unit, which produced black-and-white cartoons only. After three years as a director, he was drafted into the army; Frank Tashlin took over the unit, and that effectively ended his directing career. The best of the few cartoons he directed is probably "Daffy's Southern Exposure", though he's best-known for the wartime propaganda shorts "Tokio Jokio" and "The Ducktators."

McCabe resurfaced as an animator for DePatie-Freleng in the '60s, and worked steadily as an animator for the rest of his career. When Warner Brothers started its TV animation studio with "Tiny Toon Adventures," McCabe, almost 80, came on board as an animation timer, helping to give the gags a sharp sense of timing; he continued to work in that capacity on shows like "Animaniacs" and "Freakazoid," and wrote the script for a "Pinky and the Brain" cartoon.

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