February 10, 1911|
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, U.K.
|Died||January 17, 2006
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Norman McCabe (February 10, 1911 – January 17, 2006) was an English-born American animator who enjoyed a long career which lasted into the 1990s.
McCabe was born in England and raised in the United States. In the mid-1930s, he joined Leon Schlesinger Productions (which produced cartoons for Warner Bros.) as an animator in Frank Tashlin's unit. He moved over to Bob Clampett's unit in 1938 where he animated and/or co-directed several classic black and white Looney Tunes. When Tex Avery left Schlesinger in 1941, Clampett took over Avery's unit and McCabe took over Clampett's old unit. In 1943, McCabe was drafted into the Army and was assigned to the Army Air Corps Training Film Unit (Tashlin took over McCabe's unit after McCabe's final cartoon). In his final Warner cartoon before he left (a black and white World War II-era cartoon called Tokio Jokio), he was billed as "Cpl. Norman McCabe."
Post-World War II
He returned to animation in 1963 joining DePatie-Freleng where he worked on the titles for the feature film The Pink Panther. McCabe animated at DePatie-Freleng, working on Pink Panther cartoons as well as Warner Bros. cartoons. He also directed made for TV cartoons at DePatie-Freleng. During that time, he was usually credited as 'Norm Mccabe'
McCabe moved to the Filmation animation studio in 1967 working on several Saturday-morning cartoon series. He returned to theatrical animation with the adult animated feature film Fritz the Cat in 1972 before returning to DePatie-Freleng where he animated until the end of the 1970s. An in-joke at the studio had the name of a villain in The Houndcats as being "McCabe".
In the 1980s, McCabe returned to Warner Bros. where he worked on new animation for Warner cartoon feature film anthologies. He also trained a new generation of animators in working with the classic Warner cartoon characters. His last job was as a sheet timer on the show Tazmania and Animaniacs.
McCabe died in January 2006, the last surviving director from the golden age of Warner Bros. Cartoons to pass away. He was 94 years old.
Even though McCabe's work was largely forgotten because he never made color cartoons during the golden age of Warner Bros. cartoons and created several cartoons that would not be considered "politically correct" due to heavy racial stereotyping (particularly true in his World War II-based cartoons, such as The Ducktators, Confusions of a Nutzy Spy, and Tokio Jokio), he won recognition and accolades from those in the animation business.
- Sigall, Martha (2005). "The Boys of Termite Terrace". Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781578067497.
- Sigall (2005), p. 70