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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Maurice Noble - my 98th pick as a Disney Legend

Maurice Noble was layout artist in the early Days of the Walt Disney Studios. some of this information is from his Wikipedia page.

A Disney scout recruited him in about 1934, and he decided to accept the job since it paid $10 per month more than the department store he was working at did. Noble was put to work on backgrounds for the Silly Symphonies cartoon series. At that time the Disney backgrounds were required to be done in transparent watercolor wash, which was technically difficult because correcting a mistake was usually impossible, requiring a full new attempt.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first feature-length film Noble worked on. This was followed by background work on other Disney features, notably the Rite of Spring sequence in Fantasia. Noble also did story development for the Dance of the Hours in that film. For Dumbo, he did color coordination and character design, including work on the pink elephant sequence. 

Each of the Disney films presented special challenges. For Snow White, Noble and his fellow artists strove to capture the look of 19th century German storybooks. Pinocchio demanded radical shifts in mood, from the innocent charm of Geppetto's workshop to the sinister undertones of Pleasure Island. Noble was able to give his imagination freer rein in the brightly colored, metamorphic nightmare set to Pink Elephants on Parade in Dumbo.

He served in the Army during WW 2. Noble joined Chuck Jones' unit at Warner Bros. shortly after he was discharged, and the two worked together off and on for nearly 50 years.

Noble continued to be active in a variety of animation projects, including consultation with Disney artists for their first watercolor backgrounds in half a century (for Lilo and Stitch). Noble received an Annie Award in 1987 for creative excellence in the field of animation. In 1993, he was honored for contributions to the Disney Studio in a ceremony at Fantasia Court at Disney World, where his signature and hand-prints were placed in cement.

Elmer Elephant (1936) (background artist)
Mother Pluto (1936) (background artist)
The Old Mill (1937) (background artist) - Oscar nominee
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) (background artist)
Pinocchio (1940) (development)
Fantasia (1940) (development)
Dumbo (1941) (character designs)
Bambi (1942) (development)

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