Genndy Tartakovsky

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Genndy Tartakovsky
Genndy Tartakovsky, 2012-crop.jpg
Native name Геннадий Борисович Тартаковский
Born Gennady Borisovich Tartakovsky
(1970-01-17) January 17, 1970 (age 47)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Occupation Animator, director, storyboard artist, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1991–present
Notable work
Spouse(s) Dawn David (m. 2000)
Genndy Tartakovsky signature.svg

Genndy Tartakovsky (/ˈɡɛndi ˌtɑːrtəˈkɒfski/;[1] born Gennady Borisovich Tartakovsky, Russian: Геннадий Борисович Тартаковский;[2] January 17, 1970) is a Russian–American animator, director, storyboard artist, producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for creating the Cartoon Network animated television series Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Star Wars: Clone Wars.

He is also known for co-creating Sym-Bionic Titan and directing the animated Hotel Transylvania film trilogy.[3][4] Additionally, Tartakovsky was a pivotal crew member of The Powerpuff Girls, and worked on other notable series such as Tiny Toon Adventures and Batman: The Animated Series.

Although his Russian name Геннадий is normally transliterated as Gennady or Gennadiy, he changed its spelling to Genndy after moving to the US.[2]

Early life[edit]

Tartakovsky was born January 17, 1970, in Moscow, to Jewish parents.[5] His father, Boris, worked as a dentist[6] for government officials and the Soviet Union national ice hockey team.[7] His mother, Miriam, was an assistant principal at a school. He also has a brother, Alexander, who is two years older and currently a computer consultant in Chicago.[7] Before coming to the United States, his family first moved to Italy, where he lived next to a German family. There, Tartakovsky says he was first drawn to art, inspired by a neighbor's daughter. Tartakovsky later commented, "I remember, I was horrible at it. For the life of me, I couldn't draw a circle."

Tartakovsky's family moved to the United States when he was seven[8] due to concerns about the effect of antisemitism on their children's lives.[7] The family originally settled in Columbus, Ohio[9] and later moved to Chicago. He was greatly influenced by the comics he found there; his first purchase was an issue of the Super Friends. Tartakovsky began attending Chicago's Eugene Field Elementary School in the third grade. School was hard for him because he felt that everyone recognized him as a foreigner. He went on to attend Chicago's prestigious Lane Technical College Prep High School, and says he never felt he fit in until he was a sophomore there. When he was 16, his father died of a heart attack.[7] He felt that his father was very strict and was an old-fashioned man, but Genndy's relationship with his father was very special to him. After the death of his father, Genndy and his family moved to government-funded housing, and he began working while still attending high school.

To satisfy his ambitious family, Tartakovsky tried to take an advertising class, because they were encouraging him to be a businessman. However, he signed up late and had little choice over his classes. He was assigned to take an animation class, and this led to his study of film at Columbia College Chicago before moving to Los Angeles to study animation at the California Institute of the Arts[9] (with his friend Rob Renzetti)[7] and there he also met Craig McCracken. At CalArts, Tartakovsky directed and animated two student films, one of which became the basis for Dexter's Laboratory.[9] Reportedly, after two years at CalArts, Tartakovsky got a job in Spain on Batman: The Animated Series and The Critic.[6] There, "he learned the trials of TV animation, labor intensive and cranking it out".[6] While he was in Spain, his mother died of cancer.[7]


Craig McCracken acquired an art director job at Hanna-Barbera for the show 2 Stupid Dogs[6] and recommended hiring Robert Renzetti and Tartakovsky as well. This was a major turning point in Tartakovsky's career. Hanna-Barbera let Tartakovsky, McCracken, Renzetti and Paul Rudish work in a trailer in the parking lot of the studio, and there Tartakovsky started creating his best-known works. Dexter's Laboratory grew out of a student film with the same title that he produced while at the California Institute of the Arts. Tartakovsky also co-wrote and pencilled the 25th issue of the Dexter's Laboratory comic book series, titled "Stubble Trouble".[10] Additionally, he helped produce The Powerpuff Girls and has directed many episodes, serving as the animation director for The Powerpuff Girls Movie. All three projects were nominated repeatedly for Emmy Awards, with Samurai Jack finally winning "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)" in 2004 – the same year he would win in the category for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More) for Star Wars: Clone Wars.

Star Wars creator George Lucas hired Tartakovsky to direct Star Wars: Clone Wars, a successful animated microseries taking place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The series won three Emmy awards: two for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)" in 2004 and 2005, and another for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" (for background designer Justin Thompson in 2005). Tartakovsky was not involved in the follow-up series, and has no plans to work on future Star Wars projects.[11]

In 2005, Tartakovsky was appointed creative president of The Orphanage's Orphanage Animation Studios. In 2006, he was chosen as the director for a sequel to The Dark Crystal, but was eventually replaced by Michael and Peter Spierig. Tartakovsky served as animation director on the 2006 pilot episode of Korgoth of Barbaria, which aired on Adult Swim but was not picked up as a series. He also directed a series of anti-smoking advertisements, one for Nicorette in 2006[12] and two for Niquitin in 2008.[13] In 2009, Tartakovsky created a pilot entitled Maruined for Cartoon Network's Cartoonstitute program, which was never picked up.

In 2009, it was announced that Tartakovsky would write and direct a Samurai Jack film from Fred Seibert's Frederator Studios, and J. J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions.[14] In June 2012, Tartakovsky said that he had a story to conclude the series, but the project had been shelved after J. J. Abrams moved on to direct Star Trek.[15] In 2010, he created storyboards for Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2.[16] Tartakovsky's last TV series for Cartoon Network, Sym-Bionic Titan, aired between 2010 and 2011. He had hoped to expand on the initial 20 episodes but it was not renewed beyond its first season.[17] On April 7, 2011 an animated prologue by Tartakovsky for the horror movie Priest premiered online.[18] In early 2011, Tartakovsky moved to Sony Pictures Animation, where he made his feature film directing debut with Hotel Transylvania (2012).[3] In July 2012, he signed a long-term deal with Sony to develop and direct his own original projects.[19] His first original project is currently titled Can You Imagine? and will be produced by Michelle Murdocca. It's described as a "fantastic journey through one boy's imagination".[20]

In June 2012, Sony Pictures Animation announced that Tartakovsky was slated to direct a computer-animated Popeye feature film.[21] On September 18, 2014, Tartakovsky revealed an "animation test" footage, about which he said, "It's just something that kind of represents what we want to do. I couldn't be more excited by how it turned out."[22] In March 2015, Tartakovsky announced that despite the well-received test footage, he was no longer working on the project, and would instead direct Can You Imagine?.[23]

In December 2015, Adult Swim announced that Tartakovsky will return for a new season of the animation Samurai Jack, which continues on from the original series.[24] In April 2016, Craig McCracken mentioned on Twitter that Tartakovsky no longer works for Sony Pictures Animation.[25] After the series finale of Samurai Jack aired on May 20, 2017, Tartakovsky returned to work for Sony Pictures Animation.



Year Title Notes
1999 Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip Television film
Director, supervising producer, story and storyboard artist
2001 Samurai Jack: The Premiere Movie
The Flintstones: On the Rocks Television film
Supervising producer
2002 The Powerpuff Girls Movie Animation director & Cinematographer
2006 How to Eat Fried Worms Animation director
2010 Iron Man 2 Storyboard artist
2011 Priest Animation director
2012 Hotel Transylvania Director
Goodnight Mr. Foot[26] Short film
Director and animator
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Director
2016 Trolls Creative consultant (uncredited)[27]
2017 Puppy! Short film
2018 Hotel Transylvania 3[29] Director and writer
Cancelled[30] Genndy Tartakovsky's Can You Imagine?[20]


Year Title Notes
1991 Tiny Toon Adventures Assistant animator
Episode: "Henny Youngman Day"
1992–1993 Batman: The Animated Series Inbetween artist
1993–1995 2 Stupid Dogs Animation director, storyboard artist, and director
1994 The Critic Animation timer
1995 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself
Episode: "President's Day Nightmare"
1996–2003 Dexter's Laboratory Creator, director (1996–1999; 2002; 2003), writer, storyboard artist, producer, executive producer (2001–2003), recording director, and character designer
1998 Cow and Chicken Writer and storyboard artist ("Cow's Pies")
1998–2005 The Powerpuff Girls Supervising producer (season 1-4), writer, recording director, storyboard artist, and director (season 1-3)
2000 Foe Paws Animation Direction
Samurai Jack Creator, director, writer, storyboard artist, story, sheet timer, voice record director, producer, and executive producer
2003–2004 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Supervising producer (Pilot)
2003–2005 Star Wars: Clone Wars Creator, writer, executive producer, and director
2004 Periwinkle Around the World Producer; director, sheets; dropped pilot
2005 Duck Dodgers Cyber Pirate of the Future (voice)
Episode: "Samurai Quack"
2006 Korgoth of Barbaria Animation director; dropped pilot
2010 Maruined Creator; dropped pilot
2010–2011 Sym-Bionic Titan Creator, director, storyboard artist, writer, voice director, and executive producer
2013 Steven Universe Timing director
Episode: "Pilot"


Year Title Publisher Notes
2016 Cage! Marvel Comics Writer, illustrator[31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1995 Annie Awards Best Animated Short Subject[32] Dexter's Laboratory Won
Best Individual Achievement for Storyboarding in the Field of Animation[32] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[33] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
1996 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[33] Dexter's Laboratory
"The Big Sister"
1997 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[33] Dexter's Laboratory
"Star-Spangled Sidekicks", "T.V. Superpals", and "Game Over"
Annie Awards Best Animated TV Program[34] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Best Individual Achievement: Producing in a TV Production[34] Dexter's Laboratory
"Ham Hocks and Arm Locks"
1998 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Primetime or Late Night Television Program[35] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[33] Dexter's Laboratory
"Dyno-might" and "LABretto"
1999 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) The Powerpuff Girls
"Bubblevicious" and "The Bare Facts"
2000 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Program.[36] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) The Powerpuff Girls
"Beat Your Greens" and "Down 'n Dirty"
2001 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) The Powerpuff Girls
"Moral Decay" and "Meet the Beat Alls"
WAC Winner Best Television Special Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip Won
2002 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour Or More) Samurai Jack
I–III – "The Beginning"
OIAF Award Best Television Series Samurai Jack
VII – "Jack and the Three Blind Archers"
2004 Annie Awards Outstanding Directing in an Animated Television Production Samurai Jack
XXXVII–XXXVIII – "The Birth of Evil"
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) Samurai Jack
XXXVII–XXXVIII - "The Birth of Evil"
Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)[37] Star Wars: Clone Wars
Vol. 1 (chapters 1–20)
Saturn Award Best Television Presentation in the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA[38] Star Wars: Clone Wars Nominated
2005 Annie Awards Directing in an Animated Television Production Samurai Jack
L - "Tale of X-49"
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)[39] Star Wars: Clone Wars
Vol. 2 (chapters 21–25)
Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[40] Samurai Jack
XLIX – "Seasons of Death"
2006 Annie Awards Best Animated TV Program[38] Star Wars: Clone Wars
Vol. 2 (chapters 21–25)
2007 Winsor McCay Award [41] Won
2013 Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Feature Hotel Transylvania Nominated
VES Award Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Hotel Transylvania Nominated


  1. ^ Adult Swim (July 1, 2016), Samurai Jack: Season 5 Behind the Scenes | Samurai Jack | Adult Swim, retrieved July 15, 2016 
  2. ^ a b "Мои мультфильмы – для любого возраста". Газета. November 2, 2005. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Keegan, Rebecca (August 25, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky gets 'Hotel Transylvania' open for business". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (August 25, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky gets 'Hotel Transylvania 2'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Way of the Samurai". The Jewish Journal. August 3, 2001. Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b c d Drew Jubera (August 12, 2001). "WATCHING TV: Is 'Samurai' one for the ages?". Arts. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. 12L. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Alec Wilkinson, "MOODY TOONS; The king of the Cartoon Network." The New Yorker. ANNALS OF POPULAR CULTURE; p. 76. May 27, 2002.
  8. ^ SAMURAI JACK. DUNCAN HIGGITT. Western Mail. First Edition; NEWS; p. 28. June 17, 2005.
  9. ^ a b c Tim Feran, SAMURAI JACK PUTS ART BACK INTO ANIMATION. Columbus Dispatch (Ohio). FEATURES – TV PLUS; Cover Story; p. 3. May 11, 2003.
  10. ^ Lander, Randy. "Snap Judgments: Dexter's Laboratory #25: "Stubble Trouble"". Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Movie File: Russell Crowe, Seann William Scott, Ne-Yo & More". September 28, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Genndy Tartakovsky's Nicorette Commercial". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Genndy Tartakovsky for Willpower". Motionographer. 
  14. ^ Sean (November 19, 2009). "J.J. Abrams Producing Samurai Jack: The Movie". Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Douglas, Edward (June 26, 2012). "A Preview of Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ Vespe, Eric (October 29, 2011). "Part 1 of Quint's epic interview with Jon Favreau! IRON MAN 2! IMAX! James Cameron's AVATAR! And... Genndy Tartakovsky?!?". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved October 29, 2008. 
  17. ^ Hulett, Steve (March 23, 2011). "TAG Blog: The Network of Cartoons". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ Gallagher, Brian (April 7, 2011). "Priest Genndy Tartakovsky Animated Prologue". Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  19. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (July 11, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky Signs Overall Deal with Sony Pictures Animation". Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Koch, Dave (March 13, 2014). "Sony Updates Animated Feature Film Roster". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ Abrams, Rachel (June 25, 2012). "Helmer moves Sony's 3D 'Popeye' forward". Variety. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  22. ^ McMillan, Graeme (September 18, 2014). "Sony Pictures Releases First Glimpse of Genndy Tartakovsky's 'Popeye'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  23. ^ Han, Angie (March 13, 2015). "Genndy Tartakovsky Exits Sony's 'Popeye'". /Film. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  24. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (December 2, 2015). "TV News Roundup: ‘Samurai Jack’ is Back, Fox Greenlights New Game Show". Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  25. ^ Craig McCracken [@CrackMcCraigen] (April 6, 2016). "@nickajin Neither Lauren or Genndy are at Sony any more." (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  26. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (October 25, 2012). "No Trick, Big Halloween Treat from Sony Pictures Animation's HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Director Genndy Tartakovsky". PR Newswire. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  27. ^ Kendrick, Anna; Timberlake, Justin; Deschanel, Zooey; Mintz-Plasse, Christopher (November 4, 2016), Trolls, retrieved March 2, 2017 
  28. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Teases Upcoming Slate". January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 
  29. ^ Amidi, Amid (June 20, 2016). "Genndy Tartakovsky Isn’t Done With ‘Hotel Transylvania,’ Will Direct Third Film in Franchise". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Genndy Tartakovsky Brings His Cartoon Style To 'Cage' #1[Preview]". September 6, 2016. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  32. ^ a b "23rd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1995)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b c d "Primetime Emmy® Award Database". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  35. ^ "26th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1998)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  36. ^ "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars". Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  38. ^ a b Awards for Star Wars: Clone Wars on IMDb
  39. ^ "Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21–25)". Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Nominees: Outstanding Animated Program". 2005. Retrieved March 17, 2007. 
  41. ^ Lindeen, Julie (December 21, 2006). "Laurels Draw Plympton". Variety. 293 (61): 4. 
  • Genndy's Scrapbook (Samurai Jack Season 2 DVD, Disk 2)

External links[edit]