Who´s Who In Animated Cartoons


Movie Book Review by Willard Manus

Ever wonder who directed Disney's first Academy Award-winning Donald Duck cartoon? Or who drew the first manga comic Puss in Boots? Or who created Daffy Duck?

Those answers--John (Jack) Kenney, Hayao Miyazaki and Frederic (Tex) Avery, respectively--and many more are to be found in WHO'S WHO IN ANIMATED CARTOONS--AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE TO FILM AND TELEVISION'S AWARD-WINNING AND LEGENDARY ANIMATORS. Written by Jeff Lenburg and published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, this is the first guide to the men and women who have shaped--and are continuing to shape--cinematic animation. The large, lavishly illustrated tome provides nearly three hundred bios of the leading international creators of the movie and TV cartoons which have delighted audiences for a hundred years.

Among the artists profiled are Walt Disney, Max (Popeye) Fleischer, Ralph (Fritz the Cat) Bakshi, Matt (The Simpsons) Groening, and Nick (Wallace and Gromit Park, to name but a few.

Lenburg, who is the author of sixteen books including The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, was motivated to work on this new book when he discovered, much to his surprise "that not a single book had ever been published referencing the careers and work of animation legends and distinguished animators who have made a lasting mark on this still-booming industry."

Lenburg interviewed many of the artists featured in the book and he did extensive research at such institutions as Disney, The Academy Foundation, The Animation Guild, National Film Board of Canada and California Institute of the Arts.

Wonderful stories abound in WHO'S WHO. The section on Nick Park, for example, relates what happened when the claymation genius discovered on a flight from LAX to London that his painstakingly sculpted Wallace and Gromit figures had been stolen from his luggage. "Similar to an extensive manhunt launched to find missing persons, he and his staff distributed posters of the clay animated pair, noting that if the figures were not returned there would be no more Wallace and Gromit shorts ever.

"Two days after the incident," Lenmburg writes, "the characters showed up on Parks's doorstep, unharmed."