Ray Patterson (animator)

Raymond Patterson (November 23, 1911 – December 30, 2001) was an American animator, producer, and director. He was born in Hollywood, California, and was the younger brother of animator Don Patterson.

Ray Patterson
Raymond Patterson

(1911-11-23)November 23, 1911
DiedDecember 30, 2001(2001-12-30) (aged 90)
OccupationAnimator, director, producer, storyboard artist, writer
Spouse(s)June Walker Patterson[1]
Childrenfour daughters[2]


Patterson's earliest works in animation were for Charles B. Mintz's Krazy Kat/Screen Gems studio, where he started as an inker in 1929. He remained at Mintz for eleven years.[3] In 1940, he moved to the Walt Disney Studio, where he animated on Fantasia and Dumbo, as well as several Pluto shorts (Bone Trouble and Pluto's Playmate). By 1942, he mostly worked on Donald Duck shorts such as Donald Gets Drafted.

Patterson left Disney in 1941 during an animation strike. He would briefly reunite with Screen Gems before moving to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, with his first short for them being War Dogs. While he mostly worked in the studio's Hanna-Barbera unit, he occasionally provided animation for Tex Avery's unit in the 1950s (as well as Avery's substitute director Dick Lundy). He worked on several Academy Award-winning animation shorts: Mouse Trouble (1944), Quiet Please! (1945), The Little Orphan (1948), and Johann Mouse (1952). Patterson (along with his college Irven Spence) would briefly leave MGM in the mid 40's. During this period, he would help organize and educate animators from David Hand's Gaumount British Animation Studio.[4] He and Spence would later move back to MGM in the late 40's.

Patterson left MGM in 1953 and was briefly hired by Walter Lantz. He (and former Tex Avery animator Grant Simmons) would direct two shorts, Broadways Bow Wows and Dig that Dog.[4] Patterson and Simmons later left Walter Lantz Productions and co-founded their own studio, Grantray-Lawrence Animation, which he operated until 1967. GrantRay-Lawrence's early work was providing animation for television commercials, including the original "Winston Tastes Good" campaign. The company later moved on to producing such animated television series as Spider-Man and The Marvel Superheroes.[3]

After GrantRay-Lawrence folded in 1967, Patterson joined his former bosses at Hanna-Barbera, where he worked as a supervising director on several animated television series. Patterson was eventually promoted to vice president in charge of animation direction, a position he held until his retirement in 1993.

Patterson was awarded the 1999 Winsor McCay Award by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood for his lifetime of contributions to the animation field.[2]

Personal life and deathEdit

Ray was married to June Walker Patterson (1919–2017). June worked at Disney as a cel painter.[5] They had four daughters.[2]

Patterson died of natural causes in Encino, California on December 30, 2001, a month after his 90th birthday.[3][2]


  1. ^ Amidi, Amid (March 17, 2013). "93-Year-Old Cel Painter June Patterson Talks About the Disney Classics". Cartoon Brew.
  2. ^ a b c d Mallory, Michael (January 6, 2002). "Ray Patterson". Variety.
  3. ^ a b c "Ray Patterson, 90; Cartoon Animator of Tom and Jerry, Pluto". Los Angeles Times. January 9, 2002. pp. B–11.
  4. ^ a b "Irv Spence's "Rugged Rangers" |". cartoonresearch.com. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  5. ^ Zohn, Patricia (February 5, 2010). "The Women Animators and Inkers Behind Disney's Golden Age". Vanity Fair.

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