Norman McCabe

Norman McCabe
Born (1911-02-10)February 10, 1911
Died January 17, 2006(2006-01-17) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active 1934-1999

Norman McCabe (February 10, 1911 – January 17, 2006) was an animator who enjoyed a long career which lasted into the 1990s.

Early career

McCabe was born in England and raised in the United States. In the mid-1930s, he joined Leon Schlesinger Productions (which produced cartoons for Warner Bros.) as an animator in Frank Tashlin's unit. He moved over to Bob Clampett's unit in 1938 where he animated and/or co-directed several classic black and white Looney Tunes. When Tex Avery left Schlesinger in 1941, Clampett took over Avery's unit and McCabe took over Clampett's old unit. In 1943, McCabe was drafted into the Army and was assigned to the Army Air Corps Training Film Unit (Tashlin took over McCabe's unit after McCabe's final cartoon). In his final Warner cartoon before he left (a black and white World War II-era cartoon called Tokio Jokio), he was billed as "Cpl. Norman McCabe."[1]

He served in the First Motion Picture Unit, headquartered at the Hal Roach Studios. His commanding officer was Major Rudolf Ising.[1]

Post-World War II

After the war, McCabe worked on commercial illustrations for such works as the Bozo the Clown children's storybook records[2] and educational films.

He returned to animation in 1963 joining DePatie-Freleng where he worked on the titles for the feature film The Pink Panther. McCabe animated at DePatie-Freleng working on Pink Panther cartoons as well as Warner Bros. cartoons. He also directed made for TV cartoons at DePatie-Freleng. During that time, he was usually credited as 'Norm Mccabe'

McCabe moved to the Filmation animation studio in 1967 working on several Saturday Morning cartoon series. He returned to theatrical animation with the adult animated feature film Fritz the Cat in 1972 before returning to DePatie-Freleng where he animated until the end of the 1970s. An in-joke at the studio had the name of a villain in "The Houndcats" as being "McCabe".

In the 1980s, McCabe returned to Warner Bros. where he worked on new animation for Warner cartoon feature film anthologies. He also trained a new generation of animators in working with the classic Warner cartoon characters, he also was animation director of seasons 2 and 3 from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was produced by Hanna-Barbera Studios.

In the 1990s, McCabe was the animator in the 1990 motion picture Jetsons: The Movie. and he also did the animation director in 48 episodes of Bobby's World in Film Roman Studios.


McCabe died in January 2006, the last surviving director from the golden age of Warner Bros. Cartoons to pass away. He was 94 years old.


Even though McCabe's work was largely forgotten because he never made color cartoons during the golden age of Warner Bros. cartoons and created several cartoons that would not be considered "politically correct" due to heavy racial stereotyping (particularly true in his World War II-based cartoons, such as The Ducktators, Confusions of a Nutzy Spy, and Tokio Jokio), he won recognition and accolades from those in the animation business.



  1. 1 2 Sigall (2005), p. 70
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