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Robert Daniel Cardona (born in Los Angeles, California, USA on 7th March 1930) is an American-born Canadian animator, director, producer, production manager and writer.

Cardona had his main success in England. His most recognised work was with his longest collaborative partner, David Mitton. He was the producer of the first two series of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and the co-creator, producer and one of the directors for TUGS. Robert went to live in the UK in 1961. Since then, he worked on the British shows; Crime of Passion, Emmerdale, Fraud Squad, The Flaxton Boys, The Four Feathers, and Thriller. He was the co-founder of Clearwater Features.

When Clearwater closed down, he was able to keep 50% of the rights to TUGS and in 1993, he went to work in Canada, directing episodes on a CBC Kids show also focusing on anthropomorphic tugboats called Theodore Tugboat. In the show he directed many episodes in the series (His first was 'Hank and the Mermaid'). Cardona also provided TUGS footage for the show Salty's Lighthouse. After Theodore Tugboat ended, Cardona went back to the UK and has lived there.



Awards and nominations

  • Nominated - British Academy of Film and Television Arts - Best Animated Film for Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends, 1985, shared with Britt Allcroft and David Mitton; 1987 shared with David Mitton.


  • He is one of the few American crew members who worked with Britt Allcroft and David Mitton on the first and second seasons.
  • He is one of the few people involved in production of the first two Thomas & Friends seasons who is still alive today, even after the deaths of Wilbert Awdry, George Carlin, and David Mitton, making him the oldest former crew member who worked on the original television series. But despite already being in his 90's, it is currently unknown if he's still around.


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