Craig Douglas McCracken (born March 31, 1971) is an American animator, responsible for the Cartoon Network cartoons, The Powerpuff Girls, as well as Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania his family moved to Whitter, California after McCracken's father died when he was seven. He went to the California Institute of Arts, where he formed a strong friendship with Genndy Tartakovsky and Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot). The friendship is evident in the cooperation between series. After graduating he got his start on 2 Stupid Dogs. He created a cartoon called "Whoopass Stew," and the idea eventually became The Powerpuff Girls.
There was also a short lived project on Cartoon Network he and Rob Renzetti created called Cartoonstitute, which was supposed to be a successor to the What A Cartoon! Show on TV, but it got put quietly on CN's video service instead. He left Cartoon Network in 2009, and spent the next few years as a freelancer, creating sketches for what would eventually become his next show Wander over Yonder in 2013. It ran for two seasons before it's cancelation, making it McCracken's first show to be canceled rather than voluntarily ended. His next show, Kid Cosmic, premiered on Netflix in 2021.
He is married to fellow animator Lauren Faust. The two met when she joined the writing staff of Powerpuff Girls in season three and have since collaborated on all of his subsequent shows. They presently have one daughter together.
Notable works include:
- No Neck Joe - his 1st year student film
- Whoopass Stew - his 2nd year student film, starring the prototype versions of The Powerpuff Girls
- 2 Stupid Dogs - Art director
- Dexter's Laboratory - Art director, writer, storyboard artist and director
- The Powerpuff Girls note
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
- Wander over Yonder. His first series to be produced for a company outside of Cartoon Network, and to date, his only series to be canceled rather than willingly ended.
- Kid Cosmic, produced by Netflix.
Craig McCracken's works provide examples of:
- The '60s: He missed the decade by a year but a lot of his works are heavily influenced by it.
- Art Evolution: While his personal drawing style hasn't changed much over the years, his preferred animation techniques have. Foster's... saw him move from traditional hand-drawn animation to 2D computer animation, which allowed for more fluid character animation on a TV budget and better complimented his draftsmanship (by his own admission, he's a better designer than he is an animator). Starting from Wander over Yonder, he began using the more reliable (and animator-friendly) ToonBoom.
- Animesque: The Powerpuff Girls was basically this mixed with heavy UPA/Hanna-Barbera influence.
- Author Appeal: Star Wars and Japanese animation are frequently referenced in his work.
- Author Avatar: Mac from Foster's is unintentionally a bit based on himself as a kid. He eventually rolled with it. Played straight with Kid Cosmic.
- Monochrome Casting: Never had a non-white main character in any of his creations. Averted with Kid Cosmic which features a more racially diverse main cast.
- No-Neck Chump: His first student film, No Neck Joe, was nothing but what he considered to be "the lamest, stupidest jokes you could make about not having a neck."
- The Noseless: Rather common in his cartoons (The Powerpuff Girls, Bloo, Wilt, Wander . . . )
- Rule 34 Creator Reactions: From a frequent questions journal on his DeviantArt account."Yes I have seen the porn. Let's just leave it at that."
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Mostly middling, but heavily towards the idealistic end, albeit with a heavy dose of Black Comedy to balance it out. Wander over Yonder was even described as being "love versus hate."
- Thick-Line Animation: His Signature Style. All of his work except Foster's (which uses lineless animation) is done in this style.