Norm McCabe had one of the longest histories of any director and animator to work at Warner Bros. Animation, from his early days on "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" with the Leon Schlesinger Termite Terrace team in the 1930s all the way to his work on "Tiny Toons," "Taz-Mania," "Animaniacs," "Freakazoid" and "The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries" at the Warner Bros. Animation offices in Sherman Oaks, CA, in the 1990s.
Norm's career at Warner Bros. lasted over 65 years!
Starting as an inbetweener in 1932 at Schlesinger's, Norm was animating on the Warner Bros. shorts by 1936, receiving his first on-screen credit for "Porky In The North Woods" (Tashlin, 1936).
Over the next five years, Norm went on to animate on more than 50 Warner Bros. cartoon shorts, working for directors Frank Tashlin and Bob Clampett. Among the greatest of the shorts Norm animated is the beloved classic "Porky in Wackyland" (Clampett, 1938).
Norm was given his own unit at Schlesinger's in early 1941, and for the next three years, Norm directed about a dozen Looney Tunes. Among my favorites of these are "The Impatient Patient" (Daffy Duck, 1942), "Daffy's Southern Exposure" (1942) and "The Daffy Duckaroo" (1942). Being cartoons made in the early 40s, they all include lots of WW2 references.
In the 60s, 70s and 80s, Norm worked for just about every animation company in town.
Norm returned to Warner Bros. in the late 80s, and worked steadily at Warner Bros. Animation from 1989 to 1998, where he slugged boards and timed exposure sheets.
In 1991, I managed to talk Norm into directing an episode of "Tiny Toon Adventures" entitled "Lifeguard Lunacy."
It was around this time that Norm came to me with the first draft of a memoir he had written. He asked me to hang onto it, and hoped that some day, if anyone was interested, I would share it with others.
I told him I was honored...and I would be happy to share it.
Well, "some day" has arrived.
It's time to share it.
So, here's Part One of Norm McCabe's Memoir...
I'd be glad to share more if there are a bunch of you interested in Norm and his career and his memoirs. Let me know. Please feel free to make comments!