NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Every year the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce and the City of New Rochelle plan a parade the Saturday before Thanksgiving that is the largest one in New York outside of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. This year the parade is going to include giant balloons for the first time. To lead off this momentous occasion will be Mighty Mouse.
Mighty Mouse is a significant figure to the City of New Rochelle because it was created at Terry Toon Studios, which was located at the K building and then moved to 38 Center Ave.
Also in the parade this year will be one of the animators at Terry Toon Studios who still lives here in New Rochelle. Now 81 years old, Doug Crane worked a total of eight years there. He was hired after he had graduated from Cartoonist and Illustrator School. The school is now called the School of Visual Arts and it is where he is now an animation teacher.
Terry Toons is also where he met his wife, Maureen – on his and her first day at work. He began working at 9 AM as an illustrator and she began working at 10:30 AM as an inker/ painter. Their love story begins by Doug walking up to the beautiful redhead, Maureen, and saying “If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.” Maureen answered “how long have you worked here?” Doug replied “15 minutes…” and it was love at first sight.
Reminiscing of those days he told of another great story about how Joe Barbera of Hanna Barbera worked at a local New Rochelle bank. He said, “When Joe Barbera found out how much more animators make when he was cashing their checks, he left the bank and went to work at Terry Toons as well.”
Doug was also involved with the parade in 1982 for the 40th anniversary of Mighty Mouse. In that parade a Terry Toon parade float was first introduced and Doug helped design the float. This year he will be riding in a float also devoted to Terry Toons and he will be celebrated for contributing to such an iconic cartoon character that is remembered 74 years after its creation.
Mighty mouse has his very special place in the New Rochelle Walk of Fame by the Library Green at the New Rochelle Public Library because Mighty Mouse is only one of many people who got their start in New Rochelle. The 53rd Annual New Rochelle Thanksgiving Parade is on Saturday at 10 AM all along North Avenue and on Main Street until Maple Ave.