The Magic Behind The Cartoon

(updated February 18, 2002)

In this section I would like to include info on all the men and women behind the cartoons. The trouble is I actually know very little about them. I don't think anything has really been written about musician Scott Bradley or Animators Irv Spence, Ed Barge, Michael Lah, Kenneth Muse etc... If anyone has anything they could add please let me know. Proper credit will be given.


Directors/Producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
William Hanna was born in Melrose, New Mexico on July 14, 1910. Hanna initially majored in Journalism and Engineering at UCLA but then studied to become a structural Engineer. He dropped out of college when the Depression struck the country. His talent for drawing led him to join the Harman-Ising animation studio in 1930 where he worked for seven years in the story and layout departments. He traced and painted cells while earning $37.50 a week After the establishment of the MGM animation unit, Hanna became one of its first staff members and directed many of the Captain and the Kids cartoons in 1938-39 with William Allen. 1938 was the first year he was paired with Joseph Barbera working on Gallopin' Gals.

Joseph Barbera was born in New York City in 1911. He graduated at 16 years of age and started work in a bank, completing Income Tax Returns. Joe Barbera liked to sketch cartoons and sent in a drawing to Collier's, a leading magazine at the time. Collier's purchased a drawing for $25.00, which started Joe in his interest for cartoon artistry. Joe Barbera left the bank and started working for Fleischer Studios painting and inking cells for characters of Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor Man. He also earned $1.00 for each gag used in the Popeye strip. After leaving Fleischer's Studios he had difficulty finding a job, but through a friend Joe found work at Van Beuren Studios. The trouble was that the studio went out of business, due to the success of Disney. 

Joe Barbera was about to apply for work with Disney, when a rival of Disney convinced him to work for him instead. This cartooning adventure led to the formation of the MGM cartoon studios, where Joe Barbera met his partner for over 50 years, Bill Hanna.

After the duo worked on Gallopin' Gals they collaborated again on Puss Gets the Boot, the first in the Tom and Jerry series in 1939 with the familiar cat and mouse. Tom and Jerry was a huge success earning Hanna & Barbera 7 Academy Awards during the next 18 years in over 200 Tom and Jerry cartoons. During the 1940's, the duo then won critical acclaim when thier cartoon characters danced with Gene Kelly in the motion picture Anchors Away and Invitation to Dance, and with Esther Williams in the film Dangerous When Wet. Hanna-Barbera were now inseparable. In 1958, they produced and created the second cartoon to be on TV, Ruff and Reddy (Jay Ward's Crusader Rabbit was the first). They continued to design more cartoons (over 2000 characters) which include Huckleberry Hound, Yogi and Boo-Boo, the Flinstones, Jonny Quest, the Smurfs, and the canine we have grown to love, Scooby-Doo. 

by Randy Simcox and Shannon Hughs©


Producer Fred C. Quimby
Fred C. Quimby was born in Minneapolis in November 14, 1883. He started in journalism and then became a manager of a film theatre in Missoula, Montana, in 1907. He then landed a job at Pathe and quickly rose through the ranks: sales, sales manager, manager East Coast, board of directors. Fred was living in New York when he left Pathe, in 1921, and went into production and distribution on his own. Fox hired him in 1924 and then in 1927 MGM came knocking. They needed someone for sales and distribution of short films... ten years later Quimby was head of the department and was supervising the production of all their animated films.

Fred Quimby wanted Fritz Frelend to supervise and create characters that could stand up to Bugs and Mickey, but Fritz left for Warner studies. That left the two veterans Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising along with the guys Quimby hired... William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, Bob Allen, Dan Gordon, Ray Kelly, Paul Sommer and Jack Zander. In 1938 Hanna and Barbera presented their project to Fred and he was less than thrilled. He figured there was nothing original they could do with a cat and mouse but let them go ahead and complete the project. The result was "Puss Gets The Boot" and it was nominated for an Academy Award. A team was born.

Mr. Quimby passed away in Santa Monica, CA, September 16, 1965

by Randy Simcox©


Animator Ray Patterson
Ray Patterson's contributions to the Animation Industry began in 1929 when he was hired by the Charles Mintz Studio as an "inker" for the "Scrappy" cartoon series. Mintz moved him up to inbetweener, assistant, and eventually Ray became an animator on various cartoons, most notably "Scrappy." (Ray's brother Don also worked for Mintz at this time and he went on to fame at Walter Lantz Studios).  In 1939 Ray. Patterson was offered and took a job by Walt Disney Productions. He worked on many of the "Pluto" shorts, his favorite being "Bone Trouble." Ray also created the story, storyboard, animation and direction on "Plutos Playmate" for Walt. Two of his other huge accomplishments for Disney were: "Fantasia" (The Dance of the Hours sequence) and "Dumbo" (The Clown Circus Tent sequence).

1941 saw some changes as Ray joined the MGM Studio team. Here he was able to release those creative juices and animate some of the greatest cartoon sequences ever to see the silver screen. MGM put him to work on the Tom and Jerry shorts and in those early days you usually saw the names of Ray Patterson, Irv Spence, Kenneth Muse and Pete Burness side by side in the animators credits. Mr. Patterson also animated the dance sequence in the movie "Anchors Away" with gene Kelly. Also in 1944 Ray married his beautiful wife June.

1945-1946 saw Ray taking a leave of absence from MGM. He spent the year in England helping Dave Hand (of Disney Studios fame) open an animatin studio for J. Arthur Rank Organization. But by the end of 1946 Ray was back at MGM churning out Tom and Jerry's... including 6 winners of the Acadamy Award. All in all Ray animated on over 60 Tom and Jerry's and the team of Patterson, Spence, Muse and Barge were hard to beat in terms of quality. He stayed with MGM until 1953.

From 1954-1968 Ray Patterson (along with partners Grant Simmons and Bob Lawrence) owned and operated Grant-Ray-Lawrence Animation Studios. They produced, directed and animated on commercials (winning numerous awards) and  cartoon series which included: 

  • 65 one half hour shows of the ORIGINAL Marvel Superheros (The Hulk, Ironman, Capt. America, Prince Namor and Thor)
  • The first l3 one half hour shows of the ORIGINAL Spiderman Series for ABC network,  (Both the Superheros and Spiderman series shows can be seen up at Universal City Walks Marvel Mania restaurant!!!). 
  • Sub contracted work from Hanna-Barbera on "The Jetsons" and "Topcat" one half hour shows
  • Picked up work from UPA, most notably "Mr. Magoo" and animated on "Gay Puree" feature.
1969-1973 saw Ray working for his old pals, Hanna and Barbera, where he worked on features "Charlottes Web", and  "Hey There It's Yogi Bear" and other various TV shows. Then in 1974 he was Director of Animation for Fred Calvert Production's "Emergency + 4" tv series and in 1975 he directed the final sequence  for Takashi's Japanese feature "Metamorphosis" (Sanrio Productions).

Ray's final working years were spent at Hanna-Barbera Productions (1976-1993) where he was made Supervising Director in  l983 and Vice President in charge of Animation Directioning in l985... the title he held until retirement. Ray Patterson supervised animation direction on over 75 shows.

As a final note, Ray Patterson was presented with the Windsor McKay Lifetime Achievment award at the "Annie Awards" in November of 1999. What a great honor and I'm sure his daughters Janine and Kim were very proud to watch him accept the award. Janine helped me put this info together for my web site and I truely thank her for the effort. I don't have any birth date or early childhood/job info but if I happen across it I shall surely post it here.

by Randy Simcox and Janine Patterson©


Animator Irv Spence
Born: Irven Spence, April 24, 1909
Died: Sept. 21, 1995, Dallas, TX, age 86

Animator Irv Spence was a high-school newspaper artist alongside fellow student William Hanna, later to become half of animation giant Hanna-Barbera. Spence joined the Charles Mence Studios as an animator, and by the early 1930s was recruited by fabled animation director Ub Iwerks to work on MGM’s “Flip the Frog” theatrical-cartoon series. After the undistinguished Flip’s demise, Spence moved within the company to work on the complete run of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera’s seven-time Academy Award-winning “Tom & Jerry” shorts. He liked working on Tom. "When I'd animate Tom, I'd get inside the character... I really felt him" said Spence. After MGM shuttered its animation department in 1957, Spence spent the next 30 years with Hanna-Barbera Productions, working on such TV cartoon series as “The Flintstones”, “The Jetsons”, “Yogi Bear”, and “Scooby-Doo”. Spence also served as an animator on the feature films GAY PURR-EE (1962), THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH (1970), and Ralph Bakshi’s WIZARDS (1977) and HEY, GOOD LOOKIN’ (1982). Irv Spence died of natural causes.

by Randy Simcox, Federico Magni and The Motion Picture Guide Annual 1996©


Animator Michael Lah
Michael Lah was born September 1, 1912 and died at Valley Village, CA, october 13, 1995.

Mike worked at the MGM studios for thirty years and one of his early characters was Barney Bear. He was best known as Tex Avery's lead animator- responsible for the animation of Spike the Bulldog in the Droopy cartoons. When MGM closed down, he joined Quartet Films, a commercial production house in Studio City. At Quartet, Mike pretty much directed all of the Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle, and  Pop, and Hamm's Beer Bear commercials over more than a twenty year span.

by Randy Simcox

Director Gene Deitch
Gene Deitch was born in 1924. He was an animator at UPA studio in mid-1950s. In 1956, Deitch was hired at Terrytoons, and created characters such as "John Doormat", "Clint Clobber", "Gaston Le Crayon", "Sidney", "Foofle", and famous "Tom Terrific!" aired on "Capt. Kangaroo". In 1958, he was fired and opened his own studio , but had too much responsibility and closed it's doors without not a single cartoons, and moved to Prague and was hired at Rembrandt Films and did cartoons like "Popeye" and "Krazy Kat" for King Features, "Tom and Jerry" for MGM, and did there own cartoons like "Munro", "Self Help Series" and "Nudnik series". Gene Deitch still lives in Prague with his wife, and his memories... more info can be found at

thanks to Lowell Brubaker


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