Thanks to Tom Sito we learned that on this date in 1914, Earl Hurd patented animation ‘cels’ (celluloids) and backgrounds. Before this cartoonists tried drawing the background settings over and over again hundreds of times or slashed the paper around the character and tried not to have it walk in front of anything. By the late 1990’s, most cels & cel paint had been replaced by digital imaging.
by Maurice Noble (hand-signed.) 5
¾” x 6 ½” mixed media on MGM storyboard paper.
One of the pre-eminent color designers and art
directors in 20th century animation, Maurice Noble’s film career
began in 1934 at Walt Disney Studios creating watercolor backgrounds for the Silly Symphonies. Leaving Disney in 1941 after the bitter
animation strike of that same year, Noble joined the Army and worked in the
Capra unit alongside Chuck Jones and Ted Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss.) His work on the 1966 television special Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
involved storyboards, color design, art direction, background layouts and
co-direction. It is arguably the most watched
animation special ever created for television.