Arthur (Art) Davis

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Arthur (Art) Davis

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Arthur Davis was born on June 14th, 1905 in Yonkers, New York. He started his animation career in early 30s and moved around many studios and worked on over 200 animations as a director and animator. He worked some time at Screen Gems, and moved onto WB and became a director. He also worked in Hanna-Barbera and Walter Lantz in late 1960s. He made many cartoons that became famous such as “Bowery Bugs” (1949) and classic Pink Panther cartoons while he stayed in DePatie-Freleng Production Company. When Freleng Production dissolved into WB, he stayed until his retirement in the late 1980s. He passed away on May 9th, 2000.

Family and early life

He is a brother of Mannie Davis, who was born in Yonkers, New York in January 23rd, 1894. Mannie, also known as Emanuel, worked on about 8 animation titles in 1950s and 1960s as an animator, and also was a director for about 226 animation movies and shorts from 1920s to 1960s.

Career outline

Arthur Davis started his career as an animator at Charls Mintz studio. He took a part in creating Toby the pup and Scrappy. In 1940, he became a director at Columbia Screen Gems, which was Charls Mintz studio. In 1942 he moved on to Warner Brothers with Frank Tashlin and worked under him until 1944. After Tashlin left the studio he worked as an animator under Bob Clampett until 1945. When Clampett left the place Davis already worked on many animations that earned him a title, such as “The Goofy Gophers” (1947), or “What Makes Daffy Duck?” (1948).

He also made a sole Bugs Bunny cartoon, “Bowery Bugs” (1949). After that, he became the victim of the cost cutting studios, and went into the Freleng’s unit. He spent all the time being an animator until 1962, when he directed his final WB cartoon “Quackodile Tears”. He then went onto animate for Walter Lantz and storyboarding for Hanna-Barbera.

While he was at the Freleng’s company, he created the classic Pink Panther cartoons, “Pinkcome Tax” and “In the Pink of the Night”. (1968). Around the 1970s, the Freleng’s company did not do so well, and it eventually dissolved into the WB studio. In the WB, he worked as a sequence director for the TV series, and moved to Hanna-Barbera. He stayed at Hanna-Barbera until his retirement in the 1980s.

Personal style

“Davis’ cartoons can be recognized by their laid-back attitude, and their characters’ predilection for wearing bowties.”


He got his influence from probably Chuck Jones cartoons, especially shown a lot in the “What Makes Daffy Duck?” (1948) where he uses the gag of changing the hunting season signs. 

Honors and awards

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1994



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