Norman McCabe
Norman Hilderth McCabe

(1911-02-10)February 10, 1911
DiedJanuary 17, 2006(2006-01-17) (aged 94)
Years active1934-1999
SpouseFern McCabe[1]

Norman Hildreth McCabe[2] (February 10, 1911 – January 17, 2006) was an American animator who enjoyed a long career that lasted into the 1990s.

Early life and Warner Bros.

McCabe was born in England and raised in the United States. He worked in Tacoma, Washington as a theater lobby artist. During the Great Depression, he moved to Los Angeles to look for work at lobbies, but to no avail.[3] In the 1930s, he joined Leon Schlesinger Productions (which produced cartoons for Warner Bros.) as a animator in Frank Tashlin's unit. He moved over to Bob Clampett's unit in 1938 where he animated and/or co-directed several classic black and white Looney Tunes. When Tex Avery left Schlesinger in 1941, Clampett took over Avery's unit and McCabe took over Clampett's old unit. In 1943, McCabe was drafted into the Army and was assigned to the Army Air Corps Training Film Unit (Tashlin took over McCabe's unit after McCabe's final cartoon). In his final Warner cartoon before he left (a black and white World War II-era cartoon called Tokio Jokio), he was billed as "Cpl. Norman McCabe".[4]

He served in the First Motion Picture Unit, headquartered at the Hal Roach Studios. His commanding officer was major Rudolf Ising.[4]

Post-World War II

After the war, McCabe worked on commercial illustrations for such works as the Bozo the Clown children's storybook records[5][6] and educational films.

In the 1950s, McCabe found himself working for various television commercial studios such as Swift-Chaplin Productions, Five Star Productions, FilmFair, and TeleMation Inc. He worked as an animation director for All Scope Pictures, Inc., a commercial film division for 20th Century Fox from 1958 until the early 1960s.

He returned to animation in 1963, joining DePatie-Freleng, where he worked on the titles for the feature film The Pink Panther. McCabe animated at DePatie-Freleng, working on Pink Panther cartoons as well as Warner Bros. cartoons. He also directed made for TV cartoons at DePatie-Freleng. During that time, he was usually credited as "Norm McCabe".

McCabe moved to the Filmation animation studio in 1967 working on several Saturday-morning cartoon series. He returned to theatrical animation with the adult animated feature film Fritz the Cat in 1972 before returning to DePatie-Freleng where he animated until the end of the 1970s. An in-joke at the studio had the name of a villain in The Houndcats as being "McCabe".

Other studios McCabe worked for include Film Roman (Bobby's World), Hanna-Barbera, Henson Associates (Muppet Babies), Murakami-Wolf-Swenson (Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles), Pacific Title & Art Studio, Pantomime Pictures (Skyhawks), Playhouse Pictures, Ruby-Spears, Sunbow Productions, and Universal Animation Studios.

In the 1980s, McCabe returned to Warner Bros. where he worked on new animation for Warner cartoon feature film anthologies. He also trained a new generation of animators in working with the classic Warner cartoon characters. His last job was as a sheet timer on the series Tiny Toon Adventures, Tazmania, Animaniacs, Freakazoid!, and The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries.


McCabe died in January 2006, at age 94, the last surviving director from the golden age of Warner Bros. Cartoons to die.[citation needed]


McCabe's work is obscure today, because he never made color cartoons during his (relatively brief) directorial tenure at the Schlesinger studio, and several of his cartoons would now be considered offensive due to heavy racial stereotyping (particularly true in his World War II-based cartoons, such as The Ducktators, Confusions of a Nutzy Spy, and Tokio Jokio). During a screening of his cartoons at ASIFA-Hollywood, he spoke highly of Clampett, but was outright embarrassed by his old black-and-white cartoons.[3] However, he won recognition and accolades from those in the animation business.[7]



Year Series Title Credits
1934 Merrie Melodies Goin' to Heaven on a Mule animator
How Do I Know It's Sunday
1935 Looney Tunes Buddy's Theatre
Buddy's Pony Express
Buddy's Lost World
1936 The Phantom Ship
Boom Boom
Alpine Antics
Westward Whoa
Fish Tales
Shanghaied Shipmates
Porky's Pet
Porky's Poultry Plant
Little Beau Porky
Porky in the North Woods
1937 Porky's Road Race
Porky's Romance
Porky's Building
Get Rich Quick Porky
1938 Porky's Party
Porky in Wackyland
Porky in Egypt
The Daffy Doc
1939 Porky's Tire Trouble
Kristopher Kolumbus Jr.
Scalp Trouble
Porky's Hotel
The Film Fan
1940 The Timid Toreador director
1941 Porky's Snooze Reel
Robinson Crusoe, Jr.
1942 Who's Who in the Zoo
Daffy's Southern Exposure
Hobby Horse-Laffs
Gopher Goofy
The Ducktators
The Impatient Patient
The Daffy Duckaroo
1943 Confusions of a Nutzy Spy
Hop and Go
Tokio Jokio
1964 Pancho's Hideaway animator
The Pink Panther The Pink Phink
Pink Pajamas
Merrie Melodies Road to Andalay
1965 Looney Tunes It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House
Merrie Melodies Cats and Bruises
The Pink Panther We Give Pink Stamps
Merrie Melodies The Wild Chase
The Pink Panther Dial "P" for Pink
Moby Duck
Sink Pink
Merrie Melodies Assault and Peppered
The Pink Panther Pickled Pink
Shocking Pink
Looney Tunes Well Worn Daffy
The Pink Panther Pink Ice
Merrie Melodies Rushing Roulette
The Pink Panther The Pink Tail Fly
Pink Panzer
An Ounce of Pink
Reel Pink
Bully for Pink
The Inspector The Great De Gaulle Stone Operation
1966 Looney Tunes The Astroduck
The Inspector Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat
Napoleon Blown-Aparte
The Pink Panther Pink Punch
The Inspector Cirrhosis of the Louvre
The Pink Panther Pink Pistons
Looney Tunes Daffy Rents
The Inspector Plastered in Paris
The Pink Panther Vitamin Pink
Looney Tunes A-Haunting We Will Go
Merrie Melodies Snow Excuse
The Pink Panther The Pink Blueprint
Pink, Plunk, Plink
Smile Pretty, Say Pink
The Inspector Cock-A-Doodle Deux Deux
The Pink Panther Pink-A-Boo
Looney Tunes A Squeak in the Deep
Merrie Melodies Feather Finger
The Inspector The Pique Poquette of Paris
Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!
Merrie Melodies A Taste of Catnip
1967 Daffy's Diner
The Inspector Sacré Bleu Cross
Le Quiet Squad
The Pink Panther In the Pink
1969 Looney Tunes Fistic Mystic
Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too!
Merrie Melodies Shamrock and Roll
1973 The Blue Racer The Boa Friend
Wham and Eggs
Killarney Blarney
Hoot Kloot The Shoe Must Go On
Pay Your Buffalo Bill
Stirrups and Hiccups
1974 Phony Express
Giddy Up Woe
Gold Struck
As the Tumbleweeds Turn
The Pink Panther Pink Aye
Hoot Kloot Saddle Soap Opera
The Dogfather The Dogfather
The Pink Panther Trail of the Lonesome Pink
The Dogfather Mother Dogfather
Bows and Errors
Deviled Yeggs
1975 Rock-A-Bye Maybe
From Nags to Riches
The Pink Panther Pink Streaker
Forty Pink Winks
The Dogfather Goldilox & the Three Hoods
The Pink Panther Keep Our Forests Pink
Pink Campaign
1976 Mystic Pink
The Pink Pro
The Dogfather Medicur
The Pink Panther Pinky Doodle
1977 Therapeutic Pink
1978 String Along in Pink
Pink Lemonade
Pink Trumpet
Yankee Doodle Pink

Feature films

Year Title Credits
1972 Fritz the Cat animator
1982 Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales
1983 Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island
1986 The Transformers: The Movie animation director
1988 Daffy Duck's Quackbusters animator


Year Title Credits Notes
1972 Clerow Wilson and the Miracle of P.S. 14 animator TV special
The Barkleys 3 episodes
1973 The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas TV special
1974 The Magical Mystery Trip Through Little Red's Head
1975 The Hoober-Bloob Highway
1977 Bugs Bunny's Easter Special
1978 Michel's Mixed-Up Musical Bird
Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special
1979 The Bugs Bunny Mother's Day Special
Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet
1980 The Trouble with Miss Switch
Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?
1981 The Pink Panther in: Pink at First Sight
A Chipmunk Christmas
1982 Bugs Bunny's Mad World of Television
The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat
1986-1987 My Little Pony director
1990-1991 Tiny Toon Adventures director/timing director



  1. ^ Sigall 2005, p. 119.
  2. ^ Yowp (16 January 2021). "Tralfaz: Leon's Staff, 1940". Tralfaz. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  3. ^ a b Animator Profiles: NORM McCABE
  4. ^ a b Sigall 2005, p. 70.
  5. ^ " Bozo and His Rocket Ship". Archived from the original on 24 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Norm McCabe".
  7. ^ "The Top 100 Most Influential People in Animation". Animation Career Review. 8 March 2012.