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Guide to the Manuel Mario Moreno Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Moreno, Manuel Mario, 1908-1991. Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1909-1992
    Collection number: M0946
    Creator: Moreno, Manuel Mario, 1908-1991.
    Extent: 3.5 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation:

    Manuel Mario Moreno Papers. M0946. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    Manuel M. Moreno was a Mexican American who worked in the Animation industry while it was just starting up. He began working in Winkler's Animation Studio in 1928. He was an in-betweener (below the rank of assistant animator). Winkler's Studio had a contract with Universal pictures, and while he was working for them he learned more about the business and worked himself up to the rank of assistant animator. He was hired by Winkler at age 18 on the strength of a few samples of Moreno's cartoon work. Moreno had learned a little about cartooning from a correspondence course. Through the 1930s until the early 1940s Moreno worked as an animator and even a director for cartoons done at different studios, such as Walter Lantz's production company and MGM studios. In 1941 he left the US animation industry to take over his brother, George's, photo-processing store when he was drafted. Because of WWII, supplies to run the shop were impossible to come by, so Manuel ended up liquidating the store.
    Manuel had an idea to set up an animation studio in Mexico. He brought 3 animators with him and hired Mexican comic strip artists to be assistant animators. The process was difficult, as the comic strip artists knew nothing about animation and had to be taught. Moreno had learned a great deal about the process of animation and the technical aspects while working in the US. He even intended to write a book in Spanish entitled "El Arte de las Caricaturas Animadas" (The are of animated caricatures). His extensive notes and drawing for this book are included in the collection. He was heavily involved in training the new employees and in all aspects of production. The process was very slow because many artists were still learning how to animate and Moreno's financial backers were expecting unreasonable levels of production from the fledgling studio. Only one film was finished, "Me Voy De Cacería". Another was animated and a third had a story developed. There were additional difficulties because of the war.
    When the project eventually fell apart Moreno was not interested in going back to animation in the US. He decided to open a photo-processing store in California, called Professional Color Service. The store was very successful and remained in business for 25 years. Manuel had been married to María Teresa since 1931 and lived with her and raised a family with her in Southern California.
    Even as he ran his photo shop, Moreno still showed a strong interest in art. Many of the ads and greeting cards associated with the store are his own original creations. In addition, while he had the store and after, Moreno used his knowledge of the animation process and interest in art to create films and announcements for numerous family occasions and holidays. He was a very useful resource for authors researching the birth of the animation industry as we know it today, and an interview with one such researcher is in the collection.

    Scope and Content

    The collection at Stanford contains artifacts from the beginning of Moreno's career at the animation studios in 1928 through his family work in the early 1990s. The collection contains photographs of the staff members at the early animation studios, lists of the shorts made by different studios, drawings from some of the work produced by them, as well as the screenplay for one of the shorts. There are letters of recommendation for Moreno from different studios in the 1920s and 1940s. There is a documentation of the work Moreno did in Mexico with his Caricolor Studio, including a poster for "Me Voy de Cacería". There are also newspaper clippings from both the US and Mexico. The collection has a record of Moreno's correspondence with family and business partners from 1942 until 1947. These are arranged chronologically rather than by subject because many of Moreno's business and personal letters are related. Moreno's extensive notes and drawings for a book he planned to publish in Spanish on animation are included in their entirety in the collection. Cells, drawings, plans and ideas for amateur movies Moreno created for his family are also a part of the collection. Artwork associated with Moreno's promotion of his business, Professional Color Service is also contained in the collection. In addition, an interview Moreno gave to researchers about the beginning of the animation industry is included.
    The collection is arranged loosely chronologically, beginning with work done for Caricolor and Moreno's book and going on to work done for his family and work done for his photoshop. Box 4 contains videos of some of Moreno's family work. The print box, Box 5, predates the Caricolor project and has information that begins in the late 1920s, and spans to the 1960s.

    Access Terms

    Caricolor Films, S.A.
    Walter Lantz Productions.
    Winkler Productions.
    Professional Color Service.
    Animated films--Mexico.
    Animation (Cinematography)
    Motion picture industry--Mexico.
    Motion pictures--Hollywood (Calif.)
    Video recordings.
    Animators. lcsh
    Mexican American studies.
    Me voy de cacería