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Useful Notes / Noteworthy MGM Cartoon Staff

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Noteworthy Staffers include:

  • Heck Allen: One of the storymen for Tex Avery's unit. Although, he was also storyman on the Captain and the Kids cartoons and for the Harman-Ising unit. He briefly left to work at the Walter Lantz studio in the late 1940s.
  • Tex Avery: Formerly a director at Warner Bros., Avery arrived at the studio in 1942 (after a falling-out with Leon Schlesinger over the creation of the "Speaking With Animals" series of shorts and the original ending to "The Heckling Hare" where Bugs and Willoughby the Dog were supposed to fall again, with Bugs yelling, "Hold on to your hats, folks! Here we go again!" and ending on that note) and quickly turned it upside down with his frantic and wacky cartoons, as the studio gave him more creative freedom. Creator of Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, George and Junior and the redheaded showgirl from Red Hot Riding Hood.
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  • Joseph Barbera: A former storyman at Terrytoons, Barbera arrived at the studio's inception and was soon paired with animator Bill Hanna to direct Puss Gets the Boot, which gave birth to the Tom and Jerry series. With Hanna, he worked almost exclusively on the series until the studio closed. He and Hanna were promoted to producers in 1955, and after the studio's closure, set up their own studio, where they would go on to make TV animation history.
  • Ed Barge: An animator on the Hanna-Barbera unit. He started as an assistant under Irv Spence before coming onto his own in 1945.
  • Ed Benedict: Worked at the studio late in its life before becoming a major player in the style of the Hanna-Barbera's studio.
  • Preston Blair: Formerly a Disney animator, Blair joined Tex Avery's unit and his animation was regarded as some of the best in animation history. His best work is that of the title character of Red Hot Riding Hood and the opening scene of Screwball Squirrel. He was briefly promoted to director in the late 1940s to work on the Barney Bear shorts. Blair later wrote a highly-acclaimed book on character animation that's used by professionals and amateurs to this day.
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  • Mel Blanc: Best known for his voice work at Warner Bros., he was the voice of John Silver in the Captain and the Kids shorts, as well as characters in one-shot shorts like The Bookworm, Peace on Earth and The Lonesome Stranger.
  • Billy Bletcher: Best known for his voice work at Disneynote , he was the voice of The Captain in The Captain and the Kids shorts, as well as the occasional voice of Tom and Spike the Bulldog in Tom and Jerry and incidental characters in shorts like Who Killed Who? and, on occasion, the Spike the Dog that appeared in the Droopy cartoons.
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  • Scott Bradley: The studio's musical director, Bradley scored virtually all the cartoons the studio made during it's two decades of existence (the lone exceptions being 1939's Wanted No Master and 1953's The Missing Mouse). His cartoon work also got him jobs on MGM's live-action features, such as Courage of Lassie and The Yellow Cab Man.
  • Pete Burness: An animatior on the Hanna-Barbera unit working on the Tom and Jerry cartoons. He also worked on the Rudolf Ising unit working on the Barney Bear cartoons and the one-shots as well. He later moved to UPA, where he became the primary director of the Mr. Magoo shorts, an effort that won him two Academy Awards.
  • Daws Butler: Did voice work on many MGM cartoons, most notably as the Southern Wolf in several Droopy shorts (and the Wolf in Red Hot Riding Hood and some of the other cartoons that copied its story, like Little Rural Riding Hood and Swing Shift Cinderellanote ).
  • Pinto Colvig: Best known as the voice of Goofy, he provided voice in several MGM shorts, including Blitz Wolf, The Stork's Holiday and Little Rural Riding Hood.
  • Friz Freleng: Joined the studio in the late 1930s as a director on the Captain and the Kids cartoons, as well as a few other shorts such as The Mad Maestro and The Bookworm, before returning to Warner Bros. in 1940.
  • George Gordon: A former Terrytoons artist, he was hired as an animator and layout artist on the Captain and the Kids shorts. Gordon then replaced Rudolf Ising, directing six cartoons in the mid-1940s before being drafted. He later reunited with his MGM colleagues as a storyman and director at the Hanna-Barbera studio.
  • Milt Gross: A comic strip artist who directed two cartoons for the studio in 1939, starring his characters "Count Screwloose of Tooloose" and his dog "Iggy" (here renamed as "J.R., the Wonder Dog").
  • William Hanna: A former Harman-Ising animator, he came to the studio when it opened in 1937 as a director on the Captain and the Kids shorts. In 1939, he was teamed with story man Joe Barbera to co-direct Puss Gets the Boot, which led to the birth of the Tom and Jerry series. From there, he worked with Barbera almost exclusively on the series, as well as providing all of Tom's screams and yowls. He and Barbera became heads of the studio after Fred Quimby's retirement, and would later help make history when the studio closed and the partners founded their own studio.
  • Hugh Harman: Formerly of the Harman and Ising team, he headed a unit separate from Ising that was formed in 1939. He directed the legendary anti-war short Peace on Earth and a sub-series of Three Bears shorts. He left the studio in 1941.
  • Rich Hogan: A former Warner Bros. storyman, he would write some of Tex Avery's most iconic shorts.
  • Rudolf Ising: Formerly of the Harman and Ising team, he headed a unit separate from Harman that was formed in 1939. He won an Academy Award for The Milky Way, and created the character of Barney Bear. He departed from the studio in 1943.
  • Michael Lah: An animator who worked on both the Hanna-Barbera and Avery units. Was was briefly promoted to co-director with Preston Blair to direct Barney Bear shorts, and again late in the studio's life directing the Droopy cartoons after Tex Avery's departure. He also co-directed Tex Avery's last two shorts for the studio (Deputy Droopy and Cellbound).
  • Dick Lundy: A former Disney and Lantz animator, Lundy came to MGM in the early 1950s during Tex Avery's brief departure from the studio. He primarily directed the Barney Bear cartoons, as well as the Droopy short Caballero Droopy.
  • Kenneth Muse: A former Disney animator, Muse worked with the Hanna-Barbera unit animating on the Tom and Jerry cartoons. His specialty was animating full-bodied movements of the characters, a talent that gave him the task of animating Jerry dancing with a live-action Gene Kelly in the film Anchors Aweigh. After the MGM studio closed, Muse moved to Hanna & Barbera's own studio, where he worked well into the 1980s. At H-B, he animated entire episodes of The Flintstones (including "The Swimming Pool" and "The Tycoon"), as well as the Title Sequence for Top Cat.
  • Ray Patterson: A Hanna-Barbera unit animator that worked ion the Tom and Jerry series. His specialty was animating scenes that focused on facial expressions.
  • Edward Plumb: A musical director at Disney, he scored the music for the Tom and Jerry short The Missing Mouse.
  • Fred Quimby: Head and producer of the studio until his retirement in 1955. Despite this, he had no prior involvement in the animation industry.
  • Louie Schmitt: Formerly from Disney, he briefly worked on Tex Avery's unit in the late 1940's before leaving the animation industry to become a greeting card designer.
  • Irv Spence: An animator on the Hanna-Barbera unit, his work on the Tom and Jerry series is described as the wackiest and cartooniest on his team.
  • Bill Tytla: A Disney animator, Tytla briefly worked at the studio during the bitter 1941 animators' strike. At MGM, he animated the title character in The Hungry Wolf.
  • Roy Williams: Normally a storyman for Disney, he briefly worked with Tex Avery's unit on two shorts (Car of Tomorrow and One Cab's Family).


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