Birth: February 10, 1911 Death: January 17, 2006
Occupation/Title: Warner Bros. Animator / Director
Born in Newcastle, England. He was one of the last animators to die from the Golden Age of Animation. He started working with Schelsinger at 19 years old. Working very close to Bob Clampett at Schlesinger/Warner Bros., McCabe did not get his big break until Tex Avery decided to leave the studios in 1941. Bob Clampett inherited Avery’s animation unit, and McCabe inherited Clampett’s unit. In 1943, McCabe was drafted into WWII, served in the Air Force Training Films unit, and halted his animating career until the war was over. After the war, he work on commercial and educational films until 1963, continuing his animation career at DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, and eventually leading himself back to Warner Bros. in 1982.
McCabe’s parents moved to Montana after he was born. At 2 years old, McCabe and his family moved to California. His father was a coal miner. His wife was Fern McCabe.
No formal art education. Right out of high school, McCabe painted movie posters for theater lobbies. Worked mostly under Paul J. Smith in the early years of his career.
Between 1934 and 2000, McCabe worked at Schlesinger’s, Warner Bros., US Army Air Corps Training Film Unit, MGM, Swift Productions, Five Star Productions, Telemation, Pacific Title, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, DePatie-Freleng, Ruby-Spears, Filmfair, Marvel and Universal
Comments On Style:
Very clean, good art and animation but his gags were weak. Timing was the key to McCabe. Also, he rarely did pencil tests. Unfortunately, McCabe primarily worked in black and white before he was drafted.
Paul J. Smith and Bob Clampett (animators/directors McCabe worked with the most)
Sweet, quiet, reserved.
“Schlesinger would pay $2.50 per gag…” – McCabe, Norm During a question and answer session, a woman mentioned to McCabe, “… I don’t think computers can replace traditional drawing [animation]…” and McCabe replies with, “Give it a little time…” Miscellaneous: When Schlesinger died and the studios went under new management (Warner Bros.), McCabe was allowed back to work after the WWII. However, McCabe refused because he was not offered to have his old animation unit back. McCabe helped develop Daffy Duck and Porky Pig.
For a full list of work visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0564495/
Winsor McCay Award 2000; Animation Guild Golden Award 1995; Golden Award from the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists in recognition of fifty years in the animation field 1985. Related Links: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0564495/,
Sigall, Martha. *Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation*. 2005. University Press: Mississippi. Sito, Tom. Date: unknown. Unpublished Interview with Norm McCabe. VHS: courtesy of Larry Loc
Contributors To This Listing:
Animators Hall of Fame