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Jack Hannah (January the 5th, 1913 — June the 11th, 1994) was an American animator, artist, screenwriter and director.


The Arizona-born Jack Hannah studied for two years at the Los Angeles Art Guild Academy before dropping his portfolia at Disney in 1933, becoming an animator on their cartoon shorts, beginning with Gulliver Mickey. Reassigned a few years later to the story department thanks to his noted creativity as a gagman, he contributed to the writing of Donald's Nephews, the first cartoon to feature Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck.[1]

Hannah's influence on the beginnings of Disney comics cannot be understated; with 1941's Old MacDonald Duck, adapted from the cartoon of the same name, Hannah illustrated the first comic-book Donald Duck story;[2]the next year, 1942's seminal Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold saw him collaborate with Carl Barks on the first original long-form Donald Duck adventure, also the first Disney-licensed issue of Four Color Comics. However, although this was not quite the end of his dabblings in the comics side of things, Hannah never left the animation studio, and, in 1944, was elevated to the rank of director for the first time on the short Donald's Off Day.

Hannah worked as a director on several early episodes of the Disneyland anthology TV series, notably handling the production of the live-action introductions featuring Walt Disney himself in his Uncle Walt persona. However, Disney vetoed Hannah's wish to use this as a springboard to segue into a career as a director of live-action films; this "heated" argument resulted in Hannah quitting from the Disney studios. However, unable to find work as a live-action director, he instead joined Walter Lantz Studios, directing a number of theatrical Woody Woodpecker shorts before returning to Disney for a few last episodes of Disneyland, ending with The Ranger of Brownstone.

In 1975, Hannah, now retired from the production of major pictures (animated or otherwise), helped found the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts.[1]

Notes & References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jack Hannah on Wikipedia (retrieved July 2020).
  2. Old MacDonald Duck on INDUCKS (retrieved July 2020).