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Paul J. Smith

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Paul J. Smith (March 15, 1906 - November 17, 1980) was an American animator and director.

Smith worked for the Walter Lantz studio for much of his career, first starting as an animator, and then as a director. He also animated at the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio.

By 1955, Smith had taken over as primary director of the Woody Woodpecker cartoon shorts, with periodic fill-in shorts directed by peers Alex Lovy, Jack Hannah, and Sid Marcus. With Smith in the director's chair, the Woody Woodpeckerseries maintained its trademark frenetic energy, while the animation itself was simplified, due to budget constraints. By the late 1960s, Smith became the sole director of the Lantz studio's output: the cartoon series Woody WoodpeckerChilly Willy, and The Beary Family. Smith stayed with Lantz until the studio was closed in 1972.

Smith died in Van Nuys, California on November 17, 1980. He was the brother of animator Frank Smith and the uncle of an actor and film director Charles Martin Smith.

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