Warner, Fleischer, Famous etc. animator George Cannata

Sogturtle

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Have just been doing some more research and analysis on info I've gotten. This regards animator GEORGE CANNATA who receives one KNOWN Schlesinger/Warner Bros. credit for "Swooner Crooner" (1944). But then a few months later gets credit on three cartoons clear across the country at Famous.

This little guy had one of the most unusual careers as he animated at Fleischer's in the early Thirties (for Shamus Culhane), but never received one credit there. He then turns up briefly at Lantz for a several months, where he receives his only known credits till those in 1944-45. Sooooo where was he between 1933 and 1944?? I know he was at Terrytoons for a while (no clue as to how long), and obviously came West again. But this I just found out... He was employed at D*sn*y for some 17 months in 1940-41, and (get this) he was allowed to animate on only ONE SINGLE cartoon there!! (They REALLY wanted to re-train people "the D*sn*y Way" then). One source has down that he was at Fleischer/Famous from '42, but there are zero credits for him there in 1942, '43, or clear up till the Fall of '44. All of which makes me strongly suspect that he was at Schlesinger's all the while from leaving Walt's till he returned East.. Anybody with any further info???
 

wundermild

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Cannata

At Alberto Becattini's site information is given that Cannata was at Iwerks' studio from about 1933 till 1935. (He has been working at Lantz and, even before that, at Pat Sullivan.) Otherwise Becattini provides no data from the Thirties: Apparently Cannata has been at Fleischer's in the Thirties (and Forties) before he went to Disney. Then he returned to Fleischer, became Famous, went Looney and disappeared; surprisingly - according to Becattini -, he resurfaces again in the late Sixties (Pantomime Pictures / Hot Wheels - no idea what that might be), and finally in the Eighties working for Hanna-Barbera on Smurfs; a career that spans over fifty years? Hats off!

Here's the Link:
http://www.immaginariofiorentino.com/albertopage/amimatorsa-z/animatorsc.htm

WW
 

Dave Mackey

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The "Hot Wheels" TV series that George Cannata worked on was a late 60's cartoon that was produced by Ken Snyder and designed by Alex Toth, who also drew a DC comic book by the same name. It was a tie-in to the Mattel toys, with a racing team.
 

Sogturtle

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Re: Cannata

Originally posted by wundermild
At Alberto Becattini's site information is given that Cannata was at Iwerks' studio from about 1933 till 1935. (He has been working at Lantz and, even before that, at Pat Sullivan.) Otherwise Becattini provides no data from the Thirties: Apparently Cannata has been at Fleischer's in the Thirties (and Forties) before he went to Disney. Then he returned to Fleischer, became Famous, went Looney and disappeared; surprisingly - according to Becattini -, he resurfaces again in the late Sixties (Pantomime Pictures / Hot Wheels - no idea what that might be), and finally in the Eighties working for Hanna-Barbera on Smurfs; a career that spans over fifty years? Hats off!

WW

Alberto Becattini~ "CANNATA, George (Geo.)
Animator: SULLIVAN 20s; LANTZ -33 (Pooch the Pup 33); IWERKS c33-35; FLEISCHER -30- -42; DISNEY 40 (Goofy 41); FAMOUS 42-44 (Little Lulu 44); SCHLESINGER/WARNER BROS. 44 (Porky Pig 44); PANTOMIME PICTURES 69 (Hot Wheels 69-71); HANNA-BARBERA 80s (Smurfs 80)"

Thanks Wundermild and Dave Mackey for the input! I see that Alberto has modified his data (see above) somewhat from the last time I checked (quite a long while ago, about a year and half!). As with all Alberto's information some of this is very good, and some of it is really ummm not good at all... Cannata worked at Pat Sullivan's, but never as an animator (he was a young "blackener" there). Fleischer hired him as an inbetweener and promoted him (and a bunch of others) in 1930 when the majority of animators took offers elsewhere. Shamus Culhane stated that Cannata was put in his unit there in the early Thirties, but as I said before, he never attained screen credit there at that time (though he shows in the studio portraits for the 1930-31 season). His first Lantz credit is in Aug. '32, so that would imply that he left Fleischer in the early Spring of '32 (if not before), while his last Lantz screen credit shows as Jan. 1933. He did indeed animate for Walter Lantz on the Pooch the Pup cartoons (that is before Pooch was put to sleep :) rather than on the Oswalds for Bill Nolan. It is quite possible that he was at Iwerks for a while, but his employment would have likely really started in the Summer or Fall of '32. Annnnd he was known for his lateness in arriving to work, and the Iwerks studio manager was death on "tardiness" and absenteeism, so how he would have fared under those circumstances there for two-plus years is debatable. The famed Iwerks studio portrait which appears in Leonard Maltin's book, and Shamus Culhane's and also in another book, almost certainly dates to late 1933 or early 1934 (a number of the personnel in the photo quit in '34). Ifffff George Cannata was indeed employed at Iwerks in the '33-'35 period then he must be in that picture, but curiously no one has ever identified him in it (not even Shamus Culhane). Joe Barbera stated quite clearly that he worked with him at Terrytoons in 1936-37, but that is where Cannata disappears. Did he stay at Terrytoons, or did he come West with the others to the early MGM cartoon studio??

He of course reappears in the Spring of 1940 at Disney for that 17 months in 1940-41 that I mentioned, and then leaves the very same day as ex-MGM and ex-Fleischer animator Edwin Fourcher. Ifffffff as Alberto has it, Cannata returned eastward in 1941 then the Fleischers did something very odd. It APPEARS strongly to have been Max's policy that any returning animators were to receive immediate screen-credit (witness Shamus Culhane, Al Eugster, Ralph Somerville etc.). Cannata had been a full animator for all the years since 1930 with the exception of his mis-adventure at Disney. Soooooo why would the studio single him out to not receive rightful credit?? And why would the succeeding Famous Studio not credit him either??? And for him to get credit at Schlesinger's before getting recognition at Famous I think pretty well tells us that he really wasn't in the East in those 1941 to 1944 years at all. But rather was still in Hollywood (okay, okay Burbank), animating anonymously for Schlesinger (like a lot of others did). Until proving that he was not only good enough but was staying for a while, and thus finally received that 1944 credit for Leon. (Ifffff I'm right then it means that Cannata animated on all the McCabe/Tashlin cartoons up to that point).

After his 1944-45 toons for Famous he vanishes again, but then turns up animating for John Sutherland in Hollywood in the Fifties!! In the early Sixties the name "George Cannata Jr." turns up (if memory serves) as a character designer on "Calvin And The Colonel". And yes you are quite right, he did have a long and varied (Fleischer, Lantz, Iwerks?, Terrytoons, Disney, Warners, Famous, Sutherland, TV) animation career (not bad for a man shorter than Danny Devito!! :D)

Now to just work out whether he was really at Iwerks, and where he was from 1937 to Spring 1940...!!!
 

Dave Mackey

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And why would the succeeding Famous Studio not credit him either???

Cannata did get one Famous screen credit, to my knowledge: on "Gabriel Churchkitten" (1944). I believe Cannata was still hanging around the studio as an assistant animator during the 40's and 50's. The filmography given does not note some of the TV work for ABC (interstitials similar to, but not, "Schoolhouse Rock") that he did receive screen credit for in the 1970's.
 

Sogturtle

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Cannata Dry... ;o)

Originally posted by Dave Mackey


Cannata did get one Famous screen credit, to my knowledge: on "Gabriel Churchkitten" (1944). I believe Cannata was still hanging around the studio as an assistant animator during the 40's and 50's. The filmography given does not note some of the TV work for ABC (interstitials similar to, but not, "Schoolhouse Rock") that he did receive screen credit for in the 1970's.

Oh yeah Dave, Famous most definitely did credit him in 1944 and '45, actually on three cartoons :

I'm Just Curious (Sept. 8, 1944)
Gabriel Churchkitten (Dec. 15, 1944)
Magicalulu (March 2, 1945)

His disappearing from Famous near the end of 1944 (several months before Magicalulu was released) might even hint that he went into the Army at that point (though he may have been below minimum height requirements). Orrrrr he may even have been drafted in Los Angeles out of the Schlesinger studio and found himself in the Signal Corps in New York, and thus moonlighted on those three Famous cartoons. Don't believe that's possible??? Al Eugster did that very thing on "When G.I. Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "House Tricks"... :cool:

Cannata definitely was back on the West Coast in the Fifties... As I mentioned before he worked for John Sutherland in Los Angeles in the Fifties (possibly in the late Forties too). And Sutherland only hired the best animators that money would buy (Irv Spence, George Gordon, Phil Monroe, Carl Urbano, Bill Littlejohn, Bill Melendez etc.). Sooooo Cannata working for him a number of times tells us that he was very highly regarded as an animator. This makes the idea of Fleischer and Famous treating him as anything less than a full animator fairly unlikely. And brings us back to my little theory that he was at Leon's from 1941 till just after "Swooner Crooner".

Then our next topic will be "where did Grim Natwick go after he disappeared from Fleischer's in 1940??? That is I mean till his lanky form turned up at Lantz in 1944-45" :bosko:
 

Sogturtle

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OOOOOOOPS!!!!

A Turtle-esque correction (to my own post)... Earlier I wrote that George Cannata worked as a character designer on the early '60's "Calvin And The Colonel". Wellllll I was flat-out dead wrong!! He did the "character models" for ED GRAHAM PRODUCTIONS series "Linus The Lionhearted"... Anybody wanna take me out and shoot me??? ;) ;)
 

Dave Mackey

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Re: Cannata Dry... ;o)

Originally posted by Sogturtle


Oh yeah Dave, Famous most definitely did credit him in 1944 and '45, actually on three cartoons :

I'm Just Curious (Sept. 8, 1944)
Gabriel Churchkitten (Dec. 15, 1944)
Magicalulu (March 2, 1945)]


Obviously then I'm missing the screen credits for those. You and Thad and anyone else who's interested, go to www.davemackey.com/animation/paramount/para40s.html and see how many blanks you guys can fill in on my creditless cartoons.

Dave
 

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