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Jack Hannah
John Frederick Hannah

January 5, 1913
DiedJune 11, 1994(1994-06-11) (aged 81)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts
OccupationsAnimator, writer, director of Disney
Years active1933–1984

John Frederick Hannah (January 5, 1913 – June 11, 1994) was an American animator, writer and director of animated shorts.


Hannah was born on January 5, 1913, in Nogales, Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles in 1931 to study at the Art Guild Academy. One of his first jobs was designing movie posters for Hollywood theaters. In 1933, during the Great Depression, Hannah dropped off his portfolio at Walt Disney Studios, and soon afterward was hired as an in-between and clean-up artist, working on Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Silly Symphony cartoons.

Hannah's career as an animator commenced with the short Modern Inventions (released on May 29, 1937). After thirteen films in that capacity, he was assigned to the story department writing cartoon short continuities, beginning with Donald's Nephews (released on April 15, 1938). He received writing credit on 21 Disney cartoon shorts.

In 1942 he collaborated with Carl Barks on the first two comic books Barks worked on, Pluto Saves the Ship and Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold. Hannah in subsequent years did a handful of other Donald Duck comic book stories[1] but, unlike Barks, he stayed at the studio and eventually was given a chance to be a director. The short Donald's Off Day (released on December 8, 1944) was the first of 94 films he would direct. These include most of the shorts featuring Donald Duck in the post-war era along with all starring Chip 'n Dale and Humphrey the Bear; he also directed some shorts starring Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Pluto and some minor Disney characters such as Lambert the Sheepish Lion.

After Disney stopped producing animated shorts, Hannah did 14 episodes of the Walt Disney anthology television series (composed of footage from the classic cartoons along with new linking material) and fulfilled his ambition to direct live-action by handling Walt Disney's introductions for the episodes. Hannah hoped to segue into a career in live-action but "Walt had me pegged as an animation director so he balked at the suggestion. We had a few heated discussions and I became aware that I had come to an impasse."[2]

Hannah then went to Walter Lantz Productions and directed a number of films featuring Woody Woodpecker and most of the Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willy, and Dynamo Doc shorts directed by Jack Hannah had music by former-Warner Bros. composer and songwriter Eugene Poddany, who composed the shorts from 1960 to 1962, replaced by Darrell Calker, who composed from 1961 to 1964, and Clarence Wheeler who composed for Lantz from 1950 to 1967, and one short directed by Jack Hannah had Walter Greene as composer and Charles Mintz veteran Sid Marcus as director entitled Greedy Gabby Gator (released on January 1, 1963) and some minor characters. Besides directing shorts, Hannah also was assistant director for the television series The Woody Woodpecker Show, which began airing on October 3, 1957. "I did more or less the same thing that I did with Walt Disney in directing live-action except Lantz was better at taking direction."[2] For his final days at Lantz, his shorts needed animation by Art Davis until he left in April 1963, His last directing effort was the short Charlie's Mother in Law (released on April 16, 1963). He retired shortly thereafter and replaced by Sid Marcus, who co-directed the Woody Woodpecker short Greedy Gabby Gator, released in 1963 with Jack Hannah as co-director with Sid Marcus, who directed at Lantz until 1967.

In 1975, Hannah was one of the co-founders, along with T. Hee, of the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Hannah was honored as a "Disney Legend" in 1992. Jack Hannah is often credited with developing, if not creating, the personality of the animated version of Donald Duck. It is for this reason Disney historian Jim Korkis has dubbed him "Donald Duck's Other Daddy." Despite that, Hannah has often been noted for being responsible for Donald's most formulaic period, where constantly paired Donald with pint-sized antagonists. The most famous of these antagonists are Chip 'n Dale, but other characters included Spike the Bee, Bootle Beetle and a colony of ants. These vermin became the focus of their shorts, relegating Donald to a supporting foil role with a consequent personality diminution.

Hannah died from cancer in Burbank, California on June 11, 1994, at age 81.



Year Title Credits Notes
1934 Servants' Entrance animator
Gulliver Mickey animator
1936 Toby Tortoise Returns animator
Donald and Pluto animator
The Country Cousin animator
1937 Don Donald animator
Woodland Café animator
Modern Inventions animator
The Old Mill animator
Donald's Ostrich animator
1938 Self Control animator
Donald's Better Self story and animation
Donald's Nephews story and animation
Donald's Golf Game animator
Good Scouts animator
1939 Sea Scouts animator
Donald's Penguin animator
Donald's Lucky Day story and animation
The Hockey Champ story and animation
Donald's Cousin Gus story
Beach Picnic story
1940 Mr. Duck Steps Out story
Donald's Vacation story and animation
Window Cleaners story
Fire Chief story
1941 Timber story
Golden Eggs story
Early to Bed story
Truant Officer Donald story
Old MacDonald Duck story
Chef Donald story
1942 Sky Trooper story
The Army Mascot story
Donald Gets Drafted story
Donald's Snow Fight animator
Bellboy Donald story
Donald's Garden animator
Out of the Frying Pan and into the Firing Line animator
1943 Home Defense story
The Old Army Game story
1944 Trombone Trouble story
The Plastics Inventor story
Commando Duck story
Donald Duck and the Gorilla story
Donald's Off Day director
1945 The Eyes Have It director
No Sail director
1946 Double Dribble director
Squatter's Rights director
A Knight for a Day director
Lighthouse Keeping director
Frank Duck Brings 'em Back Alive director
1947 Clown of the Jungle director
Bootle Beetle director
Straight Shooters director
Chip an' Dale director
Foul Hunting director
1948 They're Off director
Daddy Duck director
Inferior Decorator director
Soup's On director
Three for Breakfast director
Tea for Two Hundred director
1949 All in a Nutshell director
Slide, Donald, Slide director
Honey Harvester director
Donald's Happy Birthday director
Winter Storage director
The Greener Yard director
Sea Salts director
Toy Tinkers director
1950 Trailer Horn director
Hook, Lion and Sinker director
Lion Around director
Bee at the Beach director
Out on a Limb director
Crazy Over Daisy director
1951 Chicken in the Rough director
Dude Duck director
Test Pilot Donald director
Corn Chips director
Lucky Number director
Out of Scale director
Bee on Guard director
1952 Two Chips and a Miss director
Lambert the Sheepish Lion director
Donald Applecore director
Let's Stick Together director
Uncle Donald's Ants director
Trick or Treat director
Pluto's Christmas Tree director
1953 Don's Fountain of Youth director
The New Neighbor director
Canvas Back Duck director
Rugged Bear director
Working for Peanuts director
1954 The Flying Squirrel director
Social Lion director
Grin and Bear It director
Dragon Around director
Spare the Rod director
1955 No Hunting director and voice (of Moose)
Bearly Asleep director
Beezy Bear director
Up a Tree director
1956 In the Bag director
3D Jamboree director the "Working for Peanuts" short
Hooked Bear director
1959 Bric's Stew story
1960 Donald Duck and his Companions story and animation
Southern Fried Hospitality director
Hunger Strife director
Freeloading Feline director and story
1961 Doc's Last Stand director
Woody's Kook-Out director
Gabby's Diner director
Tin Can Concert director and story
Tricky Trout director
Voo-Doo Boo-Boo director
Franken-Stymied director
Bear and the Bees director
Clash and Carry director
Mackerel Moocher director
Eggnapper director
Poop Deck Pirate director
1962 Greedy Gabby Gator director
Corny Concerto director
Punchy Pooch director
Mother's Little Helper director
Rocket Racket director
Fowled-Up Birthday director
Pest of Show director
Rock-a-Bye Gator director
Fish and Chips director
1964 Jungle Medics director and story

TV series


  1. ^ Jack Hannah
  2. ^ a b "Donald Duck's Other Daddy (PART TWO)". Archived from the original on April 12, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  3. ^ Cotter, Bill (1997). The Wonderful World of Disney Television: A Complete History.