Jerry Beck (born February 9, 1955 in New York City) is an American animation historian, author, blogger, and video producer. The author or editor of several books on classic American animation and classic character, including The 50 Greatest Cartoons (1994), The Animated Movie Guide (2005), Not Just Cartoons: Nicktoons! (2007), The Flintstones: The Official Guide to the Cartoon Classic (2011), The Hanna-Barbera Treasury: Rare Art Mementos from your Favorite Cartoon Classics (2007), The Spongebob Squarepants Experience: A Deep Dive into the World of Bikini Bottom (2013), Pink Panther: The Ultimate Guide (2005), and Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons (with Will Friedwald, 1989). He is also an authority on the making of modern films, with his books detailing the art of Peabody and Sherman, DreamWorks' Madagascar, and Bee Movie. Beck is also an entertainment industry consultant for TV and home entertainment productions and releases related to classic cartoons and operates the blog "Cartoon Research." He appears frequently as a documentary subject and audio commentator on releases of A&E's Cartoons Go To War as well as DVD collections of Looney Tunes, Popeye the Sailor, and Woody Woodpecker cartoons, on which he serves a consultant and curator.
Early in his career Beck collaborated with film historian Leonard Maltin on his book Of Mice and Magic (1980), organized animation festivals in Los Angeles, and was instrumental in founding the international publication Animation Magazine. In the 1990s Beck taught course on the art of animation at UCLA, NYU, and The School of Visual Arts. In 1993 he became a founding member of the Cartoon Network advisory board and he currently serves as president of the ASIFA-Hollywood board. He co-produced or was a consultant on many home entertainment compilations of Looney Tunes, MGM Cartoons, Disney Home Video, Betty Boop, and others. In 1989 he co-founded Streamline Pictures and first brought such anime as Akira, Vampire Hunter D, and Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky to the United States. He himself compiled collections of cartoons of Warner Bros., Woody Woodpecker, and the Fleischer Studios. As Vice President of Nickelodeon Movies he helped develop The Rugrats Movie (1998) and Mighty Mouse.
In 2006 Beck created and produced an animated pilot for Frederator Studios and Nickelodeon. That cartoon, Hornswiggle, aired on Nicktoons Network in 2008 as part of the "Random Cartoons" series. Currently he is teaching animation history at Woodbury University in Burbank, California.
In 2004, Beck and fellow animation historian and writer Amid Amidi co-founded another blog, Cartoon Brew, which focused primarily on current animation productions and news. Beck sold his co-ownership in Cartoon Brew in February 2013 and started an Indiewire blog, Animation Scoop, for reports on current animation while continuing to write about classic animation at Cartoon Research.
- Zahed, Ramin (September 17, 2007). "Cartoons Then and Now: Jerry Beck talks Woody, Popeye and More!'". Animated Views. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Zahed, Ramin (February 12, 2013). "Jerry Beck Ankles Cartoon Brew". Animation Magazine. n.p. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- Yamato, Jen (February 12, 2013). "Blogger Jerry Beck out at Cartoon Brew". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved December 4, 2014.