|Born||Kenneth Lee Muse
July 26, 1910
|Died||July 26, 1987
|Known for||animating Tom and Jerry cartoons and former Disney animator|
Muse worked briefly at Walt Disney Studio, where he was Preston Blair's assistant on Fantasia (he helped animate "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" scenes). He also provided animation for Pinocchio ("I've Got No Strings" sequence), Fantasia and various Mickey Mouse cartoons such as Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip (1940), Mickey's Birthday Party (1942) and Symphony Hour (1942).
Muse left Disney during the 1941 strike there and joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's animation department in 1941, along with fellow animators Ray Patterson, Preston Blair, Ed Love, Walter Clinton, and Grant Simmons. He was assigned to the Hanna - Barbera unit, where he remained for 17 years. He first provided animation for the eighth Tom and Jerry short, Fine Feathered Friend (1942), as well as the very last Hanna-Barbera Tom and Jerry, Tot Watchers (1958), and nearly 120 other shorts in between. Muse also animated Jerry Mouse dancing with a live-action Gene Kelly in the 1945 musical Anchors Aweigh (and became archive footage as Jerry's visible in Family Guy episode, "Road to Rupert").
When MGM closed their animation studio in 1957, Muse joined his former bosses at their new company, Hanna-Barbera. He was one of the most prolific animators working for Hanna-Barbera's classic period of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He animated many important shows and sequences, including all of the short pilot The Flagstones, from which The Flintstones series was sold, as well as the original opening and closing titles of the series (the instrumental "Rise and Shine" titles, seen in the first two seasons, rather than the later, more familiar "Meet the Flintstones" titles). Muse also animated all of the first-produced episode of the series, "The Swimming Pool" (during the first season, episodes were assigned to one animator, who had only about four weeks each to complete them). Other early episodes animated entirely by Muse include "Hot Lips Hannigan", "The Monster From The Tar Pits", and "The Tycoon" (the J.L. Gotrocks episode). Muse also animated the opening and closing titles for Top Cat (1961). Over a period of three decades, he provided animation for nearly all of Hanna-Barbera's animated television series, including The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958), The Flintstones (1960), The Yogi Bear Show (1961), Top Cat (1961), The Jetsons (1962), Wacky Races (1968), Hong Kong Phooey (1974), Jabberjaw (1976), and Challenge of the SuperFriends (1978).
Muse was the stepfather of singer-songwriter Judee Sill, with whom he had a strained relationship.
Muse died on July 26, 1987, his seventy-seventh birthday, in Templeton, California.
- Mayerson, Mark, "Animators and Their Scenes". Apatoons #44 (1991). Found on