Open main menu

Genndy Tartakovsky (/ˈɡɛndi ˌtɑːrtəˈkɒfski/;[1][a][2] born January 17, 1970) is a Russian-American animator, director, producer, screenwriter, storyboard artist, comic book writer and artist. He is the creator of the Cartoon Network animated television series Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Star Wars: Clone Wars.

Genndy Tartakovsky
Genndy Tartakovsky CTN.jpg
Tartakovsky in 2012 at CTN Animation Expo
Native name
Геннадий Тартаковский
Gennady Tartakovsky

(1970-01-17) January 17, 1970 (age 49)
OccupationAnimator, director, producer, screenwriter, storyboard artist
Years active1991–present
Notable work
Dawn David (m. 2000)
Genndy Tartakovsky signature.svg

He is also known for co-creating Sym-Bionic Titan and directing the animated Hotel Transylvania film trilogy.[3][4] Additionally, Tartakovsky was a pivotal crew member of The Powerpuff Girls, and worked on other notable series such as Tiny Toon Adventures and Batman: The Animated Series.


Early lifeEdit

Tartakovsky was born January 17, 1970, in Moscow, to Jewish parents.[5] His father, Boris, worked as a dentist[6] for government officials and the Soviet Union national ice hockey team.[7] Genndy felt that his father was a very strict and old-fashioned man, but their relationship was very special. His mother, Miriam, was an assistant principal at a school. He also has a brother, Alexander, who is two years older and a computer consultant in Chicago.[7] Before coming to the United States, his family moved to Italy. There, Tartakovsky was first drawn to art, inspired by a neighbor's daughter. Tartakovsky later commented, "I remember, I was horrible at it. For the life of me, I couldn't draw a circle".

Tartakovsky's family moved to the United States when he was seven[8] due to concerns about the effect of antisemitism on their children's lives.[7] The family originally settled in Columbus, Ohio[9] and later moved to Chicago. He was greatly influenced by the comics he found there; his first purchase was an issue of Super Friends. Tartakovsky began attending Chicago's Eugene Field Elementary School in the third grade. School was difficult because he was recognized as a foreigner. He went on to attend Chicago's prestigious Lane Technical College Prep High School, and says he didn't fit in until his sophomore year. When he was 16, his father died of a heart attack.[7] Afterwards, Genndy and his family moved to government-funded housing, and he began working while still attending high school.

To satisfy his ambitious family, which was encouraging him to be a businessman, Tartakovsky tried to take an advertising class. However, he signed up late and had little choice over his classes.[clarification needed] He was assigned to take an animation class, and this led to his study of film at Columbia College Chicago before moving to Los Angeles to study animation at the California Institute of the Arts[9] (with his friend Rob Renzetti)[7] and there he also met Craig McCracken. At CalArts, Tartakovsky directed and animated two student films, one of which became the basis for Dexter's Laboratory.[9] After two years at CalArts, Tartakovsky got a job at Lapiz Azul Productions in Spain on Batman: The Animated Series.[6] There, "he learned the trials of TV animation, labor intensive and cranking it out".[6] While he was in Spain, his mother died of cancer.[7]


Craig McCracken acquired an art director job at Hanna-Barbera for the show 2 Stupid Dogs[6] and recommended hiring Rob Renzetti and Tartakovsky as well. This was a major turning point in Tartakovsky's career. Hanna-Barbera let Tartakovsky, McCracken, Renzetti and Paul Rudish work in a trailer in the parking lot of the studio, and there Tartakovsky started creating his best-known works. Dexter's Laboratory grew out of a student film with the same title that he produced while at the California Institute of the Arts. Tartakovsky also co-wrote and pencilled the 25th issue of the Dexter's Laboratory comic book series, titled "Stubble Trouble".[10] Additionally, he helped produce The Powerpuff Girls, co-directed several episodes, and served as the animation director and a cinematographer for The Powerpuff Girls Movie. Both projects were nominated repeatedly for Emmy Awards, with a third project, Samurai Jack finally winning "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)" in 2004 – the same year he would win in the category for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More) for Star Wars: Clone Wars.

Star Wars creator George Lucas hired Tartakovsky to direct Star Wars: Clone Wars, a successful animated series taking place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The series won three Emmy awards: two for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)" in 2004 and 2005, and another for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" (for background designer Justin Thompson in 2005). Tartakovsky was not involved in the follow-up series, and has no plans to work on future Star Wars projects.[11]

In 2005, Tartakovsky was appointed creative president of Orphanage Animation Studios. In 2006, he was chosen as the director for a sequel to The Dark Crystal, but was replaced, and the film was later scrapped. Tartakovsky served as animation director on the pilot episode of Korgoth of Barbaria, which aired on Adult Swim in 2006 but was not picked up as a series. He also directed a series of anti-smoking advertisements, one for Nicorette in 2006[12] and two for Niquitin in 2008.[13] In 2009, Tartakovsky created a pilot entitled Maruined for Cartoon Network's Cartoonstitute program, which was not picked up.

Tartakovsky in 2012 at AIAFF

In 2009, it was announced that Tartakovsky would write and direct a Samurai Jack film from Fred Seibert's Frederator Studios, and J. J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions.[14] In June 2012, Tartakovsky said that he had a story to conclude the series, but the project had been shelved after Abrams moved on to direct Star Trek.[15] In 2010, Tartakovsky created storyboards for Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2.[16] He created a new series for Cartoon Network, Sym-Bionic Titan, between 2010 and 2011. He had hoped to expand on the initial season, but it was not renewed.[17] On April 7, 2011, an animated prologue by Tartakovsky for the horror movie Priest premiered online.[18]

In early 2011, Tartakovsky moved to Sony Pictures Animation, where he made his feature film directing debut with Hotel Transylvania (2012).[3] In July 2012, he signed a long-term deal with Sony to develop and direct his own original projects.[19] In June 2012, Sony announced that Tartakovsky was slated to direct a computer-animated Popeye feature.[20] On September 18, 2014, Tartakovsky revealed an "animation test".[21] In March 2015, Tartakovsky announced that despite the well-received test footage, he was no longer working on the project. He moved onto directing original story Can You Imagine?, announced in 2014,[22][23] but it too was cancelled.[24]

Tartakovsky directed a sequel to Hotel Transylvania, released in 2015. In December 2015, Adult Swim announced that Tartakovsky would return for a final season of Samurai Jack,[25] during which he stepped away from Sony Pictures Animation.[26] When the series finished airing in 2017, Tartakovsky returned to Sony and directed Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018). After its financial success, two original projects were announced: an R-rated comedy called Fixed and an action-adventure film entitled Black Knight.[27]

In May 2019, it was announced that Adult Swim had commissioned a new series from Tartakovsky entitled Primal, which is about "a caveman at the dawn of evolution ... [and a] dinosaur on the brink of extinction." It is set to air in late 2019.[28]



Year Title Notes
2002 The Powerpuff Girls Movie Animation director, art director and cinematographer
2006 How to Eat Fried Worms Animation supervisor
2010 Iron Man 2 Storyboard artist
2011 Priest Prologue director
2012 Hotel Transylvania Director
Goodnight Mr. Foot[29] Short film
Director and animator
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Director
2016 Trolls Creative consultant (uncredited)[30]
2017 Puppy! Short film
Director and writer[31]
2018 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation[32] Director and writer
Voice actor of Blobby, Blobby Baby and Puppy Blobby
TBA Fixed Director[27]
Black Knight Director and writer[27]


Year Title Notes
1991 Tiny Toon Adventures Assistant animator
Episode: "Henny Youngman Day"
1992–1993 Batman: The Animated Series Inbetween artist
1993–1995 2 Stupid Dogs Animation director, storyboard artist and director
1994 The Critic Animation timer
1996–2003 Dexter's Laboratory Creator, director (1996–1999, 2003), writer, storyboard artist, producer, executive producer (2001–2003), recording director, and character designer
1998 Cow and Chicken Writer and storyboard artist
Episode: "Cow's Pies"
1998–2004 The Powerpuff Girls Supervising producer (season 1-4), writer, recording director, storyboard artist and director (season 1-3)
1999 Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip Television film
Director, supervising producer, story and storyboard artist
2000 Foe Paws Animation director
2001 The Flintstones: On the Rocks Television film
Supervising producer
Samurai Jack Creator, director, writer, storyboard artist, story, sheet timer, voice director, producer and executive producer
2003 Duck Dodgers Voice actor as himself
Episode: "Samurai Quack"
2003–2004 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Supervising producer
2003–2005 Star Wars: Clone Wars Creator, writer, executive producer and director
2004 Periwinkle Around the World Pilot
Producer, director and sheets
2006 Korgoth of Barbaria Pilot
Animation director
2008 Maruined Pilot
2010–2011 Sym-Bionic Titan Creator, director, storyboard artist, writer, voice director and executive producer
2013 Steven Universe Timing director
Episode: "Pilot"
2019 Primal Creator


Year Title Publisher Notes
2001 Dexter's Laboratory: "Stubble Trouble" DC Comics Writer, illustrator
2016 Cage! Marvel Comics Writer, illustrator[33]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1995 Annie Awards Best Animated Short Subject[34] Dexter's Laboratory Won
Best Individual Achievement for Storyboarding in the Field of Animation[34] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)[35] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
1996 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)[35] Dexter's Laboratory
"The Big Sister"
1997 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)[35] Dexter's Laboratory
"Star-Spangled Sidekicks", "T.V. Superpals", and "Game Over"
Annie Awards Best Animated TV Program[36] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Best Individual Achievement: Producing in a TV Production[36] Dexter's Laboratory
"Ham Hocks and Arm Locks"
1998 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Primetime or Late Night Television Program[37] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)[35] Dexter's Laboratory
"Dyno-might" and "LABretto"
1999 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less) The Powerpuff Girls
"Bubblevicious" and "The Bare Facts"
2000 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Program.[38] Dexter's Laboratory Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less) The Powerpuff Girls
"Beat Your Greens" and "Down 'n Dirty"
2001 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less) The Powerpuff Girls
"Moral Decay" and "Meet the Beat Alls"
WAC Winner Best Television Special Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip Won
2002 Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour Or More) Samurai Jack
I–III – "The Beginning"
OIAF Award Best Television Series Samurai Jack
VII – "Jack and the Three Blind Archers"
2004 Annie Awards Outstanding Directing in an Animated Television Production Samurai Jack
XXXVII–XXXVIII – "The Birth of Evil"
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less) Samurai Jack
XXXVII–XXXVIII - "The Birth of Evil"
Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)[39] Star Wars: Clone Wars
Vol. 1 (chapters 1–20)
Saturn Award Best Television Presentation in the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA[40] Star Wars: Clone Wars Nominated
2005 Annie Awards Directing in an Animated Television Production Samurai Jack
L - "Tale of X-49"
Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or More)[41] Star Wars: Clone Wars
Vol. 2 (chapters 21–25)
Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less)[42] Samurai Jack
XLIX – "Seasons of Death"
2006 Annie Awards Best Animated TV Program[40] Star Wars: Clone Wars
Vol. 2 (chapters 21–25)
2007 Winsor McCay Award [43] Won
2013 Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Feature Hotel Transylvania Nominated
VES Award Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Hotel Transylvania Nominated


  1. ^ Russian: Геннадий Тартаковский; although his Russian name Геннадий is normally transliterated as Gennady or Gennadiy, he changed its spelling to Genndy after moving to the U.S.[2]


  1. ^ Adult Swim (July 1, 2016), Samurai Jack: Season 5 Behind the Scenes | Samurai Jack | Adult Swim, retrieved July 15, 2016
  2. ^ a b "Мои мультфильмы – для любого возраста". Газета. November 2, 2005. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Keegan, Rebecca (August 25, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky gets 'Hotel Transylvania' open for business". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (August 25, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky gets 'Hotel Transylvania 2'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "The Way of the Samurai". The Jewish Journal. August 3, 2001. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d Drew Jubera (August 12, 2001). "WATCHING TV: Is 'Samurai' one for the ages?". Arts. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. 12L.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Alec Wilkinson, "MOODY TOONS; The king of the Cartoon Network." The New Yorker. ANNALS OF POPULAR CULTURE; p. 76. May 27, 2002.
  8. ^ SAMURAI JACK. DUNCAN HIGGITT. Western Mail. First Edition; NEWS; p. 28. June 17, 2005.
  9. ^ a b c Tim Feran, SAMURAI JACK PUTS ART BACK INTO ANIMATION. Columbus Dispatch (Ohio). FEATURES – TV PLUS; Cover Story; p. 3. May 11, 2003.
  10. ^ Lander, Randy. "Snap Judgments: Dexter's Laboratory #25: "Stubble Trouble"". Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  11. ^ "Movie File: Russell Crowe, Seann William Scott, Ne-Yo & More". September 28, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
  12. ^ "Genndy Tartakovsky's Nicorette Commercial". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009.
  13. ^ "Genndy Tartakovsky for Willpower". Motionographer.
  14. ^ Sean (November 19, 2009). "J.J. Abrams Producing Samurai Jack: The Movie". Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  15. ^ Douglas, Edward (June 26, 2012). "A Preview of Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Vespe, Eric (October 29, 2011). "Part 1 of Quint's epic interview with Jon Favreau! IRON MAN 2! IMAX! James Cameron's AVATAR! And... Genndy Tartakovsky?!?". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  17. ^ Hulett, Steve (March 23, 2011). "TAG Blog: The Network of Cartoons". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  18. ^ Gallagher, Brian (April 7, 2011). "Priest Genndy Tartakovsky Animated Prologue". Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  19. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (July 11, 2012). "Genndy Tartakovsky Signs Overall Deal with Sony Pictures Animation". Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Abrams, Rachel (June 25, 2012). "Helmer moves Sony's 3D 'Popeye' forward". Variety. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  21. ^ McMillan, Graeme (September 18, 2014). "Sony Pictures Releases First Glimpse of Genndy Tartakovsky's 'Popeye'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  22. ^ Han, Angie (March 13, 2015). "Genndy Tartakovsky Exits Sony's 'Popeye'". /Film. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  23. ^ Koch, Dave (March 13, 2014). "Sony Updates Animated Feature Film Roster". Big Cartoon News. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  24. ^ Scott Wills (July 8, 2017). "Story pitch art for a Genndy Tartakovsky feature that didn't get made". Instagram. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  25. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (December 2, 2015). "TV News Roundup: 'Samurai Jack' is Back, Fox Greenlights New Game Show". Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  26. ^ Craig McCracken [@CrackMcCraigen] (April 6, 2016). "@nickajin Neither Lauren or Genndy are at Sony any more" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ a b c N'Duka, Amanda (July 25, 2018). "'Hotel Transylvania' Helmer Genndy Tartakovsky Sets New Projects At Sony Pictures Animation". Deadline. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  28. ^ Petski, Denise (May 14, 2019). "Adult Swim Orders Genndy Tartakovsky Animated Series 'Primal'". Deadline. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  29. ^ Sony Pictures Animation (October 25, 2012). "No Trick, Big Halloween Treat from Sony Pictures Animation's HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA Director Genndy Tartakovsky". PR Newswire. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  30. ^ Kendrick, Anna; Timberlake, Justin; Deschanel, Zooey; Mintz-Plasse, Christopher (November 4, 2016), Trolls, retrieved March 2, 2017
  31. ^ "Sony Pictures Animation Teases Upcoming Slate". January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  32. ^ Amidi, Amid (June 20, 2016). "Genndy Tartakovsky Isn't Done With 'Hotel Transylvania,' Will Direct Third Film in Franchise". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  33. ^ "Genndy Tartakovsky Brings His Cartoon Style To 'Cage' #1[Preview]". September 6, 2016. Archived from the original on November 5, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  34. ^ a b "23rd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1995)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  35. ^ a b c d "Primetime Emmy® Award Database". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  36. ^ a b "25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  37. ^ "26th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1998)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  38. ^ "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2000)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  39. ^ "Star Wars: Clone Wars". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  40. ^ a b Awards for Star Wars: Clone Wars on IMDb
  41. ^ "Star Wars Clone Wars Vol. 2 (Chapters 21–25)". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  42. ^ "Nominees: Outstanding Animated Program". 2005. Retrieved March 17, 2007.
  43. ^ Lindeen, Julie (December 21, 2006). "Laurels Draw Plympton". Variety. 293 (61): 4.
  • Genndy's Scrapbook (Samurai Jack Season 2 DVD, Disk 2)

External linksEdit