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Katz, Ray

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    Along with Henry Binder, one of the managerial assistants to Leon Schlesinger. Also Schlesinger’s brother-in-law -- which, according to Jones, was his sole qualification for the job. He describes Katz as something of a lunkhead, noting (among other things) that he would flip musical score sheets in imitation of the way animators flip drawing sheets.

    Katz produced some Looney Tunes in the late 1930s. Porky in Wackyland (Clampett, 1938) model sheets note that it was a Ray Katz production.

    Katz, along with Binder, went on to run the Screen Gems cartoon unit at Columbia in the late 1940s -- both of them had left Warner Brothers after Schlesinger sold the studio in 1944 -- but failed to turn that floundering studio around. It closed later that decade.

    Katz is caricatured in Nutty News (Clampett, 1942) as a man who demonstrates the use of a rear view mirror to prevent his hat and coat from being stolen, only to lose his pants instead. Katz is also referred to by the praying “Good Earth” figure in Have You Got Any Castles? (Tashlin, 1937), and in the Katz School for Girls in Porky’s Double Trouble (Tashlin, 1937).

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• The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is © (copyright) 1996 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.

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