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Useful Notes / Noteworthy Looney Tunes Staff

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The original Termite Terrace gang, c. mid-1930's.note 

We all love the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon series, but it didn't get made overnight or from one mind—rather, it was the result of the collaboration of hundreds of staffers, directors, animators, inkers and others from the golden age and dark age of animation. While it might it be impossible to list every single person, this list will attempt to cover as many people as possible.

Compare to Noteworthy Disney Staff, Noteworthy Fleischer Staff and Noteworthy MGM Cartoon Staff.

Noteworthy Staffers Include:

  • Leon Schlesinger: The producer between 1930 and 1944. According to the staff, he was quite affable compared to his successor Eddie Selzer.
  • Eddie Selzer: The producer between 1944 to 1958, succeeding Schlesinger. He infamously had No Sense of Humor, that said, he did give more credit to the directors (previously the directors were merely listed as "supervisors") and by contrast to Leon, left himself uncredited.
  • John W. Burton: The studio's general manager once Warner Bros. bought the studio from Schlesinger. He was officially promoted to producer in 1958, following Selzer's retirement.
  • David DePatie: The producer starting in 1960, the final producer before the original studio shut down. Eventually formed his own animation studio, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, alongside Friz Freleng, which would create more Looney Tunes shorts from 1964 to 1967.
  • Hugh Harman And Rudolph Ising: Ex-Disney employees who started up the studio. They quit in 1933, taking their creation Bosko with them to MGM.
  • Friz Freleng: Another ex-Disney. Became a director in the late Harman-Ising era and was eventually considered the unofficial head of the studio outside of management. Often did shorts featuring Yosemite Sam as well as Sylvester and Tweety. He remained with the studio until 1962 (except for a brief stint at MGM in 1938-39). He also produced the 1964-67 era cartoons with David DePatie.
  • Frank Tashlin: Had three stints at the studio: In 1933 note , in 1936-38 note  and 1943-46 note .
  • Earl Duvall: Another director of the immediate post-Harman & Ising era. The most noteworthy fact about him is that he directed the first color Merrie Melody "Honeymoon Hotel" (1934, animated by Clampett and Jones). He only directed five shorts before drunkenly ranting at Leon Schlesinger to give him a raise, ultimately costing him his job.
  • Jack King: Also a director from the immediate post-Harman & Ising era (specifically, from 1934 to 1936), serving as Duvall’s replacement; he worked at Disney beforehand. He was appointed the main director of Looney Tunes cartoons (while Friz Freleng would mainly direct the Merrie Melodies). In 1936, he went back to Disney.
  • Ben Hardaway: Briefly replaced Freleng as director (working alongside Cal Dalton) from 1938-1940 note . Bugs Bunny is named after his nickname "Bugs" Hardaway. Also helped create Woody Woodpecker.
  • Chuck Jones: Possibly the most ambitious of the directors and arguably the most well-known. He's known for completely reinventing Daffy Duck and popularized shorts featuring him and Bugs Bunny. He was also responsible for all of the Pepé Le Pew and the Roadrunner/Coyote shorts.
  • Tex Avery: Created Bugs Bunny and is also the co-creator of Daffy Duck. and made many travelogue shorts during his tenure. While he's the reason that the Looney Tunes are known for their street smart and witty humor, maybe you know him better for his work at MGM.
  • Bob Clampett: The co-creator of Daffy Duck. He later took over Avery's unit, where he became legendary for his zany and off-the-wall shorts featuring wild and fast-paced animation. He was also the original creator of Tweety.
  • Norm McCabe: An animator for Clampett who took over his old unit in 1941, and somewhat of an unsung creator. McCabe's cartoons are notable for two reasons: he was one of only two directorsnote  still making cartoons in black and white while everyone else was moving on to color, and most of them (specifically "The Ducktators", "Tokio Jokio"note , and "Confusions of a Nutzy Spy") are so mired in World War II references and outrageous ethnic stereotypes (specifically of the Japanese) that they're barely aired at all on modern American TV stations (though Cartoon Network once aired a ToonHeads episodes highlighting some of his shorts). Besides the wartime cartoons, McCabe is known for directing three excellent black and white Daffy Duck shorts: Daffy's Southern Exposure, The Impatient Patient and The Daffy Duckaroo, which have the first depictions of the Cuckoosnarker Daffy that would be the studio's default for the character throughout the rest of the decade.note McCabe's career as a director was Cut Short by World War II conscription, being drafted as a Corporal for the Motion Pictures unit, where he worked on live action propaganda, in 1943. McCabe was unable to get his job back after the war ended, but he eventually returned to animation a full 20 years after he left the Termite Terrace, first returning to the Looney Tunes by animating for De Patie Freleng Enterprises and then directing some of the episodes for well known toyetic cartoons during The Dark Age of Animation, like the first generation of Transformers. McCabe is also the last surviving Golden Age (pre-1965) director of Looney Tunes to pass away (though, given his obscurity, most people often give Chuck Jones that title), dying in 2006 at age 94.
  • Robert McKimson: The only Termite Terrace member to stay practically for the entire lifespan of the franchise in theaters - as an animator from 1930 to 1944 and as a director from 1945 to 1969, excluding a short period in 1968 during the Seven Arts era.
  • Art Davis: One of the unsung directors of the studio (late 1940s). He also animated for Tashlin and McKimson before his brief directorial stint (which happened after Bob Clampett left the studio), and would later work for Freleng after it.
  • Rudy Larriva: Animator for Chuck Jones during the late '30s and early '40s. Like McCabe, he was drafted into World War II and unable to get his job back after the war, later jumping ship over to Disney and UPA. He returned to the series in 1965, even becoming a full-time director. Sadly, he's more well-known for the infamous eleven Road Runner shorts he directed at Format Films. Was officially the last surviving Looney Tunes director, passing away in 2010.
    Voice Actors 
  • Mel Blanc: Provided most (more like almost all) the voices for the studios between 1937 and 1969.
  • Arthur Q. Bryan: Well known as the original voice of Elmer Fudd until his passing in late 1959.
  • Kent Rogers: A voice actor who was still a teenager during his most of his tenure. He was tragically killed in an aircraft crash sometime after enlisting in the Navy during World War II. He was the original voice for Beaky Buzzard, Henery Hawk, and Junyer Bear.
  • Bea Benaderet: The main female VA for the studio during the 40s and into the mid-50s.
  • June Foray: The main female VA for the studio from the mid-50s onward, replacing Bea Benaderet. Quite possibly had the longest tenure with the franchise, voicing characters, Granny in particular, long after its golden age.
  • Stan Freberg: Provided most of the other male voices that Mel Blanc couldn't do, as well as taking over from Kent Rogers following his untimely passing.
  • Daws Butler: A frequent voice actor for the studio from the mid-to-late 50's and onward. Is more well-remembered for his voicework for Hanna-Barbera.
    Animation Staff 
  • Shamus Culhane: Had a very brief stay at the studio, working for Chuck Jones on Inki and the Mynah Bird (which, like the other Inki cartoons, is banned because of its (unintentionally) racially insensitive protagonist) and Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears.
  • Bob Givens: Helped design Bugs Bunny, and did layouts for every director except Friz Freleng. One of the few that stayed right until the studio closed in 1969.
  • Martha Sigall: Ink and paint artist.
  • Virgil Ross: Animator, who along with Bob Givens stayed at the studio until it's closure. Originally started out at Tex Avery's unit, he then had a brief spell at Bob Clampett's before spending the rest of his tenure at Friz Freleng's.
  • Ken Harris: Animator for the Chuck Jones unit. Also worked with Jones for Richard Williams on The Thief and the Cobbler and directed one short: “Hare-abian Nights”, the only Golden Age Yosemite Sam short not directed by Friz Freleng or a member of his crew.
  • Bill Meléndez: Animator for the Bob Clampett unit, and later the Davis and McKimson units. Later became famous as the producer of (and voice of Snoopy in) the Peanuts television specials.
  • Rod Scribner: Animator for the Avery, Clampett and McKimson units, known for producing some of the wildest and most expressive animation of the Golden Age (especially when working under Clampett's unit, though a lot of McKimson's earlier work has Scribner's wild, fluid motions).
  • Maurice Noble: Layout man for Chuck Jones. His stylish designs are featured on such classics as Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, What's Opera, Doc?, and the Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner series. He also co-directed a few cartoons alongside Jones before his dismissal from WB in 1962.
  • Hawley Pratt: Friz Freleng's layout man and chief character designer for almost two decades. In this role, he designed Sylvester the Cat and Yosemite Sam, and created the definitive versions of Tweety and Speedy Gonzales. He later became a director in his own right at the very end of the studio's life, and continued to work with Freleng over at De Patie Freleng Enterprises.
  • Robert Gribbroek: Did Chuck Jones's layouts for quite a while before Maurice Noble showed up, and later did the same job for Robert McKimson. Although most agree that his work in Jones's unit was sorely lacking compared to what Noble later did, his work for McKimson tends to be much better-regarded.
  • Gerry Chiniquy: Animator for the Freleng unit, specialized in dancing scenes, also directed two cartoons, "Dumb Patrol" and "Hawaii Aye Aye".
  • Manny Gould: Animator for the Clampett and McKimson units, known for his wacky and expressive animation.
  • Ben Washam: Animator for the Jones unit, known for giving characters (Bugs Bunny, especially) sharply pointed cheeks, also designed the mascot for Big Boy restaurants.
  • Robert "Bobe" Cannon: Animator for the Clampett and Jones units, known for pioneering the smear animation technique. Later became a top director at UPA, winning an Oscar for "Gerald McBoing-Boing".
  • Lloyd Vaughan: Animator for the Jones unit.
  • Phil Monroe: Animator for the Jones, Freleng, Tashlin, and Clampett units. Arguably more well-known during his later years in Chuck Jones' unit.
  • Abe Levitow: Animator for the Jones unit, also directed four cartoons: "Baton Bunny", "Really Scent"note , "A Witch's Tangled Hare", and "Unnatural History". Continued to collaborate with Jones well into the '60s and '70s, for whom he directed the feature films Gay Purr-ee and The Phantom Tollbooth.
  • Richard Bickenbach: Animator for the Freleng, Tashlin, and McKimson units; also notable for his voice impersonation of Bing Crosby in several cartoons. Later went on to work as a layout artist for MGM (on the Tom and Jerry series) and Hanna-Barbera Productions (on various shows such as The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, and Jonny Quest, among others).
  • Basil Davidovich: Animator for the Jones and Davis units; would later move to Disney in the mid-50's to provide layouts for films such as Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, and The Jungle Book.
  • Izzy Ellis: Animator for the Clampett, Tashlin, and McKimson units. Ellis was known for his primitive, angular style.

  • Tedd Pierce: Writer (initially for Friz Freleng, until he switched to McKimson's unit in the early '50s; also wrote for Chuck Jones a few times when Mike Maltese was unavailable), Storyboard Artist and Voice Actor
  • Michael Maltese: Writer, initially splitting his time between Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones, then full-time with Chuck Jones's unit until the late 1950s, when he left the studio to write for Hanna-Barbera.
  • Warren Foster: Writer, mainly for Bob Clampett, then for Robert McKimson until the early '50s, when he switched over to Friz's unit where he stayed until he left for Hanna Barbera in 1959.

    Sound Department 
  • Carl W. Stalling: Music director. Trope Codifier for Mickey Mousing (he started out at Disney composing the score for most of his early sound cartoons and suggesting the idea for the Silly Symphonies series, making him the Trope Maker for most cartoon music devices as well).
  • Milt Franklyn: Carl Stalling's right-hand man, arranging Stalling's scores and acting as musical director in many instances as well. Began composing on his own in 1954, and continued until his death in 1962.
  • Bill Lava: Became musical director in 1962 after Franklyn's sudden death, staying with the studio until its closure in 1969.
  • Tregoweth "Treg" Brown: Film editor and sound effects wizard. Won an Academy Award for his work on The Great Race.