garymooney garymooney

Gary Mooney 1930-2008

Bob Kurtz reports that veteran animator Gary Mooney passed away on Tuesday August 5th at age 78. The cause was cancer. Kurtz called Mooney, who animated many commercials and movie titles for the producer, “The best draftsman I ever worked with”. Mooney’s work can be seen in films ranging from Disney’s Lady and The Tramp and Sleeping Beauty to John Hubley’s The Hole and The Hat. He also animated on Jay Ward’s George of the Jungle, Total Television’s Underdog and the Taarna sequence in Heavy Metal. Mooney is caricatured above by John Sparey (Mooney is fourth from the left – from left to right, Bill Mahood, Osvaldo Franca, John Sparey, Gary Mooney, Bob Carr, Dick Hoffman and Wes Herschensohn – see the complete image on the TAG blog)

  • Not to belittle those who came before them, but to me Mooney is part of the “Greatest Generation” of animators.

    They came of age in the 50s and 60s and were able to break from the confines of the Hollywood system. Working with men like Kurtz, Hubley and Blechman and as independents in the commercial system they were able to showcase animation as a mere extension of draughtsmanship, design and filmmaking (not just a tool to keep the kiddies quiet or sell them sugary treats).

  • Jorge Garrido

    R.I.P., another great legend lost…

  • Matt Crowther

    My late father, Duane Crowther was a good friend of Gary’s, sorry to hear that he passed.

  • Robyn Smith

    My mother Florence Brewer (Zeffy Rose) kept me informed of your and Gary’s hardships. My thoughts and prayers are with you and you have been on my mind a great deal.
    Words can’t express the sadness I feel for your loss.

  • Samantha

    He was a great animator and a wonderful husband.
    I will miss the husband part more than the animator part.

    Hi Matt… nice to hear from you. I remember when you and your wife and Dad and Kathy and Samantha came to our Tahoe house for a visit. I remember the poker games your dad used to host, lol.

    He will be greatly missed, by me and our son, Jake.

    Thank you all for the kind words about my husband.
    Samantha Mooney

  • Samantha

    Robyn, how sweet of you to write. Your mother and Gary had a lot of laughs.

    Thank you, again.

  • I haven’t seen Gary Mooney in at least 10 years, sadly. I owe Gary a lot; he gave me my first job in animation (ahem) number of years ago at Quartet Films, a company that did the animation for mostly TV commercials. Gary was incredibly patient with me, a raw beginner, and coached me very throughly about volumes and nose sizes, arcs, etc. on a scene I inbetweened on a Green Giant spot he was doing at the time. Mike Lah and Stan Walsh, two of the founders of Quartet were hanging around, and Hank Ketcham even dropped by a couple of times. After the commercial was done, I took some of the drawings up to Hal Sutherland at Filmation, he looked at them and just said “Start Monday”. Gary was known by some of his friends as “Ol’ Moon”. He was very quiet but had very definite opinions about animation and many other things. I will miss him very much.

  • Florence Brewer

    Dear Sam—-There are no words for a loss like this.

    My only regret is that I never got to know Gary in person but we became good friends on the phone.

    I remember all the laughs we had about our shared age.


  • Pam Cooke

    I was one of the lucky ones to land a job at Kurtz & Friends and share a room with Gary for many years.
    Beyond being the most naturally talented animator, his gag cartoons were classic, and he would hide them all in his drawer. (we made copies)
    He loved his family, his pets, the Airborne Rangers (he was one), history, jazz, crossword puzzles (in ink), horse racing, swearing (better than anyone), and animating too.
    He was extremely kind and hilarious and an inspiration to me. He was a close pal.
    I miss him.

  • Cathy Karol-Crowther

    Dear Samantha and Jason,
    My condolences to you both. Gary was amazing. I know he was Duane’s favorite animator. He use to tell me he drew the very best charactures as well. He was very unusual as you know. We once went with him to the Hollywood racetrack, and he used his binoculars to look at the TV screen. I know he was great with animals too.
    I know how you feel for certain. Gary said kind words to me after Duane died as well.
    My best to you both and Gary’s dear friends as well.
    Cathy and Samantha Crowther

  • Samantha

    Thanks, Kathy,Pam, Mark…. and everyone.

    Give Samantha a hug.. she was little the last time I saw her.
    Maybe 2 or 3? Time flew.

  • Russ Mooney

    As with Mark, I got my start in animation with Gary at Quartet. Being his nephew was not necessarily an advantage. Just the opposite, it felt like quite a disadvantage at the time, coming on the heels of Mark and a whole set of others who preceded me and numerous other who followed. Gary was this fantastic teacher…never any lectures or high brow animation BS. Just the fundamentals and the chance to work with this amazing genius who oozed native talent and eclectic humor from every pore in his always totally unaffected manner. He had this amazing ability to teach via osmosis and example. I muddled my way through my apprenticeship, graduating to becoming his assistant for a golden period of years. Meeting loads of great people along the way who were his contemporaries and pals and getting the chance to work for many of them as well. I owe so much to Gary. A debt I will never be able to repay. Needless to say, he is sorely missed.

  • Laura Rediehs

    When I was a small child, I used to think the zany thoughts and ask the strange questions that small children do, like “Do people see colors the same way? Maybe what I see as blue is what you see as green!” Most of the adults in my life would reply, “What a silly question! Don’t be ridiculous!” But my father Gary would say with great interest, “I’ve wondered about that too!”

    I am very sad to hear that he’s gone now. I was really hoping to see him again

  • Ron Campbell

    One of the most unpleasant things about aging is watching old pals and colleagues cross the river. Goodbye Gary, say hello to Duane and Fred and Lee and Barry and Kimmy and Ken and…well, almost everyone, but not quite yet everyone. If heaven is all it’s cracked up to be we’ll get up another poker game one day, argue politics once more, and perhaps win a few cents on the horses via a tip from the Heavenly Host.
    My sympathies to Samantha — and all Gary’s old friends.

  • Sandra Hoecker

    Max and I send our sympathies to Samantha, Jake and friends. Gary will be missed by all.

  • Laura Rediehs

    I send condolences to Samantha, Jake, and friends as well. (I forgot to say this in my note above, but I had meant to.)