Robert (Bobe) CannonOccupation / Title:
07/16/1909Date of death:
Cannon began his career in animation at Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1934 as an assistant to the studio’s top animators, Bob Clampett and Charles Jones. After two years, he was promoted to the position of an animator, and as part of so called Termite Terrace, Cannon was working on the studio’s most famous characters, such as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, and Pepe Le Pew.
After leaving Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1944, Cannon, together with Charles Jones, Stephen Bosustow, John Hubley and Ben Washman, animated Hell Bent for Election (1944), a short promotional animation convincing people to vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt in the upcoming elections. The success of the animation enabled the above mentioned animators, together with Cannon, to found United Productions of America (UPA) in 1946. Cannon was not only one of the key founding figures of the studio but also one of UPA’s vice-presidents, from 1949 to 1957. He is credited with creating Mr. Magoo character, directing Technicolor UPA Cartoon Specials series, and Gerald McBoing Boing episodes, as well as creating the story for the later series. His work at UPA brought him three Academy Awards for Gerald McBoing Boing (1951) and Gerald McBoing Boing On Planet Moo (1955).
While working at UPA, Cannon did also animation work at Walt Disney Studios, animating Melody Time (1948), and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Cartoon Studio, drawing under the supervision of Frederick B. (Tex) Avery. After leaving UPA in the late 1950s, Cannon worked as an animator and producer of TV commercials at Playhouse Pictures.
Later in his career, Cannon joined the faculty at San Fernando Valley State College, where he taught animation, and later focused on anthropological research and production of anthropological films, such as The Races of Men.
For his work in the field of animation, Cannon received Hollywood’s International Film Society’s Winsor McCay Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1976.
- Lenburg, Jeff. Who’s Who in Animated Cartoons. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2006.
- Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.
- Solomon, Charles. The History of Animation: Enchanted Drawings. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1994.