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Thorndyke on Mercer and Crandall


Here’s an oddity.

I found a copy of cartoonist Chuck Thorndyke’s 1939 book The Business of Cartooning: The Success Stories of the World’s Greatest Cartoonists. In it, he profiles three dozen print cartoonists (mainly artists of newspaper strips, magazine gags and editorial cartoons), with caricatures by Thorndyke. Under a subsection for Animated Cartoonists, Thorndyke profiles only three animators. He devotes a whole page to Walt Disney, that’s understandable — but some some unknown reason, from all the animators to choose from in 1939, he singles out Fleischer’s Roland “Doc” Crandall and Jack Mercer.

What? What about Max or Dave Fleischer? Paul Terry? Walter Lantz? Why not Hugh Harman? It’s great to learn a little more about Crandall and Mercer, but it seems a bit odd. My guess is he knew Crandall and Mercer personally. Perhaps owed them a favor. Here’s the spread devoted to animated cartoonists. It’s not particularly well written, but a few bits of odd information can be gleaned from it.

  • Thanks for this. It’s great to know a bit more about Doc Crandall. While I’ve heard that he was the sole animator on the Boop Snow White, this is the first time I’ve seen it as coming from Crandall himself.

  • Christopher Cook

    Was Jack Mercer married to Mae Questel (Olive’s voice)?

    In 1975, Mercer was on “To Tell The Truth,” and had I been one of the questioning panelists, I would have disqualified myself. His regular voice is the same he used in the part 1 capper of the TV Felix The Cat cartoons (1959).

    Back on topic, a nice article.

  • You’re crazy if you’re expecting anything well written about cartoonists to come from a publication from the Golden Age. It just didn’t happen.

    BTW, how many cartoons was Crandall a “head-animator” for?

  • Mercer was married to Margie Hines, who in 1939 was doing the voice of Olive Oyl.

  • Brad Constantine

    Has anyone seen the animated version of the war they were referring too?
    That’s the first I’ve heard of it. That would be quite a show considering he was there in battle… I always like the little personal bits you get from these articles. Nice to give these names a real background. Keep ’em coming.

  • Jack’s wedding to Margie Hines made the front page of Miami Herald. Hines was performing the Olive Oyl voice because Mae Questel didn’t want to move to Florida. As far as I have been able to tell, Mae picked the assignment back up when the newly-formed Famous Studios came back to New York City in 1942.

  • paul

    The Olive Oyl voice of Margie Hines was my favorite. It was funny and hysterical. It even seems that that particular Olive Oyl had a more feisty personality than the Olive Oyl of Mae Questel.

  • V.E.G.

    I think Margie Hines was born before 1911.

  • V.E.G.

    I found Margie Hines’ name (under Margaret L. Hines) on the 1910 United States Federal Census. Her parents’ names are Andrew T. and Cecilia M. (maiden name unknown) Hines. She is no longer living.

  • V.E.G.

    Margie Hines was born in either 1909 or 1910. I have no idea about what happened to her after 1944. I think she is dead by now.