Friday, 29 March 2019

Rudy Cataldi

He wasn’t at the Hanna-Barbera studio in the earliest days, but he worked on the original Flintstones series.

The Crescent Valley Weekly is just reporting that Rudy Cataldi died on January 4th at the age of 91.

Cataldi had the misfortune to direct on the Sinbad Jr. cartoons created by Sam Singer in the early ‘60s. Cataldi recollected in an interview on the Animation Guild website that Singer demanded only three drawings be used in every foot of film. A foot is 16 frames, meaning a drawing was supposed to be held for at least five frames. Hanna-Barbera’s limited animation varied; sometimes characters were held for a while but the action was never as static as in a Singer cartoon. (That’s Cataldi with Singer to the right).

Cataldi began his career at Walt Disney and worked under George Nicholas, who moved to Hanna-Barbera to animate in 1959. Cataldi co-owned an animation firm for a brief time which produced the not-well-remembered Q.T. Hush series that aired in syndication.

We wrote about Mr. Cataldi on our other web site in this post. I won’t go through all his credits—other websites exist for that—but he animated on “Christmas Flintstone” (1964, credits to the left), along with some less charming episodes, including the one where, somehow, Darren and Samantha Stephens end up as cartoons in the Stone Age (The only possible explanation is a spell by Aunt Clara went amiss). He also worked on the Atom Ant series with former business partner Lou Kachivas and some great people like Carlo Vinci and Irv Spence. Unfortunately, the studio’s animation was looking lacklustre and their talent was wasted.

He was employed by Bill and Joe for 23 years and had the great fortune to meet his future wife when working at the studio. Our condolences to the Cataldi family on the passing of this fine gent of the animation industry.

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