Craig McCracken

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Craig McCracken
Craig McCracken 1.jpg
McCracken in 2012
Craig McCracken

(1971-03-31) March 31, 1971 (age 50)
OccupationAnimator, director, writer
Years active1990–present
Known for
(m. 2004)

Craig McCracken (born March 31, 1971) is an American animator, director and writer, known as the creator of popular animated series such as The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends for Cartoon Network, as well as Wander Over Yonder for Disney Channel. McCracken started his career professionally serving as an art director and storyboard artist for 2 Stupid Dogs and Dexter's Laboratory. He has been married to fellow animator Lauren Faust since 2004.[1] His latest work, Kid Cosmic, premiered on Netflix in February 2021 and became his first serialized series.[2]

Labeled as "one of the most successful creators of episodic comedy cartoons",[3] his style was "at the forefront of a second wave of innovative, creator-driven television animation" in the 1990s, along with that of other animators such as Genndy Tartakovsky,[4] and has been credited as "a staple of American animated television".[5]

Personal life[edit]

McCracken began drawing at an early age. After he graduated from California High School in Whittier, California, he attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he honed his animation skills and met his classmate Genndy Tartakovsky, with whom he would occasionally collaborate throughout his career. During his first year, he created a series of short cartoons featuring a character named No Neck Joe, which were picked up by Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.[6][7][8] While at CalArts, he also created a short entitled Whoopass Stew!, which would later become the basis for The Powerpuff Girls.[6][7] McCracken married animator Lauren Faust on March 13, 2004. Faust took maternity leave in mid-2016 to take care of their newborn daughter.[9]


Holding the Annie Award for Best Animated TV Production won by Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends in 2007.

In 1993, McCracken was tapped by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons to be an art director on the Turner Broadcasting System series 2 Stupid Dogs, where he would also work with Tartakovsky. While McCracken was at Hanna-Barbera, studio president Fred Seibert began a new project: an animation incubator consisting of 48 new cartoons running approximately seven minutes each. Dubbed What a Cartoon!, it motivated McCracken to further develop his Whoopass Girls! creation, renaming it The Powerpuff Girls in the process.[10] His new pilot, "The Powerpuff Girls in: Meat Fuzzy Lumkins", premiered on February 20, 1995, on Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toon-In,[11] and a second short, "Crime 101", followed on January 28, 1996. The first short to be picked up by the network was Tartakovsky's Dexter's Laboratory, which McCracken would contribute to in early seasons. McCracken's Powerpuff was the fourth cartoon to be greenlit a full series, which premiered on November 18, 1998, with the final episode airing on March 25, 2005. The show soon became a hit and has won both Emmy[12] and Annie[13] awards. In 2002, McCracken directed The Powerpuff Girls Movie, a prequel to his series. The film received generally positive reviews but was a box office failure.

McCracken left The Powerpuff Girls after four seasons, focusing on his next project, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.[6] It premiered with the 90-minute television special "House of Bloo's" on August 13, 2004, on Cartoon Network. He developed the series with wife Lauren Faust and Mike Moon. The show ran for six seasons, all directed by McCracken, and concluded on May 3, 2009. It also won Emmy[14] and Annie[15] awards.

In April 2008, he became executive producer of a new Cartoon Network showcase project called The Cartoonstitute. After 15 years of employment, he resigned from Cartoon Network and created Wander Over Yonder for Disney Television Animation and the Disney Channel in 2013.[16] He is currently at Netflix creating and producing the animated series Kid Cosmic, which premiered on February 2, 2021.[2] This show is the first of McCracken's original works to have a serialized format and his return to the superhero genre since The Powerpuff Girls.[3][17]


Year Title Role
1991 No Neck Joe Creator, director, writer, and animator (made in 1990, copyright date 1991)
1992 Whoopass Stew! Creator, director, writer, and animator
1999 Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip Story
2002 The Powerpuff Girls Movie Creator, story, writer, director, executive producer, storyboard artist, character designer, and character layout
2009 The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!! Creator, Writer, Story, director, executive producer, story editor, storyboard artist, and character designer
Year Title Role
1993–1995 2 Stupid Dogs Art director
1995 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself (Episode: "President's Day Nightmare")
1995–1997 What a Cartoon! Writer, director, and art director
1995–1996 Dumb and Dumber Character designer
1996–2003 Dexter's Laboratory Director,[18] art director, model designer, and storyboard artist
1998–2005 The Powerpuff Girls Creator, story, executive producer, writer, storyboard artist, recording director, and director (1998-2002; 2008)
2004–2009 Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Creator, executive producer, art director, character designer, developer, story, writer, storyboard artist, director, and story editor
2007 Diggs Tailwagger: Galactic Rover Executive creative consultant
2007 Enter Mode 5
2008 Uncle Grandpa Executive producer (Episode: "Pilot")
2009 Chowder Story and storyboard artist (Episode: "The Birthday Suits")
2009 Regular Show Executive producer (Episode: "Pilot")
2013–2016 Wander Over Yonder[19] Creator, writer, storyboard artist (2013), director (2013), story, character designer, executive producer, and additional voices
2021–present Kid Cosmic Creator, executive producer


  1. ^ "Lauren Faust's Twitter". Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Craig McCracken's 'Kid Cosmic' Premieres February 2 on Netflix". Animation World Network. January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Baron, Reuben (January 20, 2021). "The Powerpuff Girls' Craig McCracken Talks Entering the Streaming Age With Kid Cosmic". Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  4. ^ Lloyd, Robert (February 2, 2020). "At Netflix, 'Powerpuff Girls' creator savors freedom: 'We can do this now?'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  5. ^ Maher, John (February 2, 2021). "Two Decades After The Powerpuff Girls, a New Superpowered Kid Learns Some Big Lessons". Vulture. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c The Powerpuff Girls: Who, What, Where, How, Why... Who Cares?. 2009.
  7. ^ a b Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-winning and Legendary Animators. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 231. ISBN 978-1-55783-671-7. Retrieved May 31, 2011. tartakovsky calarts.
  8. ^ "Spike and Mike's – A Brief History". July 3, 2011. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  9. ^ "Episode 18: Lauren Faust", Nick Animation Podcast, September 9, 2016, retrieved September 12, 2016, My daughter's only three months old, so I'm still on my leave, so I'm... just... usually... all day, taking care of the baby. I kinda love it.
  10. ^ "Animator Profile: CRAIG McCRACKEN". Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  11. ^ Winfrey, Lee (December 27, 1994). "From Hanna-barbera, 8 New Cartoons For Cable The Cartoon Network's New Stable Of Stars Includes Two Ducks, Two Bears, And Even Dino Of "Flintstones" Fame". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  12. ^ "The Powerpuff Girls |". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  13. ^ "29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2001)". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  14. ^ "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends |". Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  15. ^ "34th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2006)". Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  16. ^ Connelley, Brendon (March 13, 2012). "Wander Over Yonder Coming to TV – The New Project from Powerpuff Creator Craig McCracken". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  17. ^ Zahed, Ramin (January 5, 2021). "Close Encounters of the Retro Kind: Craig McCracken Discusses His New Show 'Kid Cosmic'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  18. ^ "Dexter's Laboratory Credits". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  19. ^ "Disney's 2012–13 TV Schedule Presented to Advertisers". Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.

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