James "Shamus" Culhane
(1908-1996) was a veteran animator and director. Considered one of the finest of the era, Culhane worked at almost every studio of the time, starting at Hearst and Bray Studios
, moving on to Fleischer Studios
and the Ub Iwerks
studio, secured a job at Disney
, made a brief return to Fleischers, had a very brief stint at Warner Bros.
in the Chuck Jones
unit, but the most important part of his career would have to be his tenure at the Walter Lantz
cartoon studio, where he directed some of the best shorts of the studio, including the Woody Woodpecker
short "The Barber of Seville
", no. 43 on The 50 Greatest Cartoons
Post-Lantz, he founded his own animation studio, Shamus Culhane Productions, which produced thousands of TV spots, including a particularly famous Muriel Cigar advertisement, and later on produced classic shows like Rocket Robin Hood
, but it folded by the 1960's, allowing Culhane to find work at Paramount Cartoon Studios
. After quitting (or fired, according to the Ralph Bakshi
book "Unfiltered") Culhane worked on several made for TV specials and then went into semi-retirement. Later down the road, he published two acclaimed books: the instructional book "Animation: From Script to Screen" and his autobiography "Talking Animals And Other People". He was also lifelong friends with veteran animator Grim Natwick
, all the way up to when Grim died, aged 100.
Notable Work of His Includes:
- Swing You Sinners (Talkartoons): First stint as an actual animator.
- The Herring Murder Case
- Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle: Rotoscoped the hula animation of Betty.
- Jack and the Beanstalk (Comicolor Cartoons): First stint for the Ub Iwerks studio. Co-directed with Al Eugster. Culhane himself animated the scene where the giant is trying to unsuccessfully light his pipe.
- The Little Red Hen (Comicolor)
- Puss-In-Boots (Comicolor)
- The Brave Tin Soldier (Comicolor)
- The Merry Kittens (A Van Beuren Studios Rainbow Parade short)
- The Foxy Terrier
- Orphan's Picnic: First Disney short Culhane worked on.
- Hawaiian Holiday: He did animation of Pluto and his encounter with a crab.
- Society Dog Show: Did some animation for this short.
- The "Heigh Ho" sequence in Snow White, the segment which he directed.
- The Popeye short "Popeye Meets William Tell".
- A Kick In Time: A Color Classics short starring Hunky and Spunky.
- Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels: Animation director on the film—worked on the ending sequence where Gulliver is departing.
- The Dandy Lion: An Animated Antics short.
- Mr. Bug Goes to Town: Was an animation director on the film. Worked on the opening sequence establishing all of the characters.
- Inki and the Mynah Bird: One of a couple Warner Bros. shorts he did work one. Only one he was credited for.
- Fin 'N Catty
- Puss 'N Booty
- Woody Woodpecker: The Barber of Seville: Considered one of the best shorts of the Walter Lantz's studio, and arguably his best short.
- Abou Ben Boogie
- The Greatest Man In Siam
- Mousie Come Home
- The Pied Piper of Basin Street
- The Painter and the Pointer: An Andy Panda cartoon.
- Take Heed, Mr. Tojo: A Warner Bros. "Seaman Hook" Wartime Cartoon that was outsourced to Lantz. He personally directed it.
- Playhouse 90: Animated the title sequence.
- The Opera Caper: A Paramount Cartoon Studios short.
- My Daddy The Astronaut: Same as above.
- The Mighty Thor: Did animation for the series.
- Rocket Robin Hood: Did the first season.
- The Hat
- The Night The Animals Talked (1970)
- Noah's Animals
- King of the Beasts
- Last of the Red Hot Dragons
- Professer Kitzel
- The Spirit of '76
- the animated sequences of Hemo The Magnificent, Unchained Goddess, The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays (Bell Labs Educational series)