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Talking about Walter Lantz and explaining why he is a famous animator.

Walter Lantz

By: Brian Mai


Walter Benjamin Lantz was born on April 27, 1899 in New Rochelle, New York with his parents who are Italian immigrants named Francesco and Maria Lantz. At first, there actual last names were Lanza, but an immigrant officer give them the last name Lantz instead. When Lantz was at the age of 16, he worked as a newspaper cartoonist for the Randolph Hearsts New York American Newspaper and practice making animations with a Charlie Chaplin film by tracing the frames. He also observed and learned from the comic artist who created the paper's "funny pages" every day. He even attended at the Art Student League in New York where he studied and he was fascinated in art. Within 2 years Lantz was a


About Walter Lantz 

Walter Lantz is an American motion picture animator and a cartoonist. He is well known for creating the iconic character Woody Woodpecker who has a very distinctive laugh. He also created his own animation company called Walter Lantz production. His work brings laughter and joy to the world and he won the special Academy Award for it.

full fledge animatior and worked with Bray Studios in 1922 and cooperate on some series which include The Katzenjamer Kids, Happy Hooligan, Mutt and Jeff, Colonel Heeza Liar, Pete the Pup and Dinky Doodle series. However, he later on moved to California to work with Universal Studios to continue working on Oswald The Lucky Rabbit with Walt Disney and developed the characters Andy Panda, Li'l Eight Ball, and Winchester the Tortoise. Andy Panda was inspired by a donation that was for the panda at the Chicago Zoo and Andy Panda became a very popular character. When it was 1939, Lantz was able to create a deal with Universal Studios to have ownership on his cartoons which give him an advantage. Soon later, he created the first technicolor cartoon featuring his iconic character Woody Woodpecker. The inspiration come from a woodpecker that

was knocking on his roof. Walter Lantz observed the woodpecker and saw how smart it was. Woody Woodpecker was originally a side character in the short called Knock Knock, but later became a main character in 1948 making Lantz a multimillionaire. The original Woody Woodpecker had to be swapped out due to the voice actor that left Universal Studios. He went through many auditions untill his wife did the voice the best and she voiced the character untill her death in 1992. Lantz stop making his productions in 1977 and was presented a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 4 years later. In 1979 he was awarded a special honery award for his input in arts and animation in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. It was on live broadcast and the most memorable moment  was when an animated Woody Woodpecker accepted the award along with Lantz. Walter Lantz lived a long life at age 94, and died due to heart failure in the St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California on March 22, 1994.

Oswald The Lucky Rabbit 

Chilly Willy 

There were some characters he created which include Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, and the iconic character Woodywoodpecker. Each of those of his characters were in a series of cartoons which he worked on as an animator. Below, there are images of the characters he created. 

Examples of His Work

Woody Woodpecker 

Andy Panda 

N/A. "What About Walter Lantz." Bluejayblog. N/A, 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. <>.

Kathleen Kuiper and Amy Tikkanen. "Walter Lantz." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 June 2008. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. <>.

Joseph, Seth. "Walter Lantz and Woody Woodpecker." Staff, 2014. Web. 12 Sept. 2016. <>.