Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Freeze Frame! - Claude Smith Proprietor

He was the proprietor of the General Merchandise store in the 1945 Droopy cartoon Wild and Wolfy.  But just who was Claude Smith in real life?

Claude Smith was already a veteran of the animation industry when Wild and Wolfy was released in 1945.  He began working at the Walt Disney Studios as early as 1933.  He was a casualty of the fallout from the Disney Studio strike in 1941, but quickly landed at MGM where he did character layouts for Tex Avery for a number of years and assisted Avery specifically on Wild and Wolfy.  Smith ultimately became well known as a cartoonist, publishing predominantly in Playboy and New Yorker magazines well into the 1970s. 

A Claude Smith cartoon from New Yorker, published May 15, 1948.