Monday Morning Maurice

Maurice Noble background

Not sure why I’ve never linked to this before but here is an illuminating 1991 interview with legendary animation background designer Maurice Noble (What’s Opera, Doc?,Duck Amuck, The Dot and the Line). The interview was conducted by Harry McCracken and originally appeared in a print issue of Animato.

For some visual examples of Noble’s work, check out this blog post by illustrator Glen Mullaly in which he shares some composite screengrabs from the 1954 John Sutherland industrial It’s Everybody’s Business. The image at the top of this post is from that film, which can be downloaded for free at Archive.org.

And one final interesting Maurice note: in February 2008, the University Press of Mississippi will publish the first in-depth study of Noble’s work. The book, Stepping into the Picture: Cartoon Designer Maurice Noble, by Robert McKinnon, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon in hardcover or softcover. I don’t know much about the book though I believe that McKinnon was working on this with Noble while he was still alive so hopefully the book will have plenty of fresh details about Noble’s life and work.


  • https://klangley.blogspot.com Kevin Langley

    I love those Sutherland industrial films. Thanks for the heads up on the Noble book, I’m glad that Maurice was directly involved in some way. That’s a must have.

  • http://anim8edstuff.blogspot.com Edward R. Cox

    Ah…more Maurice! His work was and is always refreshing and sorely missed in quality animation these days. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.davemackey.com Dave Mackey

    Thanks for pointing out the Noble interview. Back in those days Harry lived in Boston and that, combined with him being less involved with the computer magazine biz as he is now, really gave him some great opportunities to get some great interviews. And he really did quite a bang-up job with Animato! for the time he was involved with it (and I contributed a few reviews and essays during his editorship). I believe Harry and Maurice actually continued to carry correspondence going up until his death. And I did get to meet Maurice on a few occasions, such a sweet man.

  • http://www.harrymccracken.com Harry McCracken

    It’s good to hear that Bob McKinnon has a publisher for his book–he’s been working on it since at least the early 1990s, and Maurice did indeed give his blessings back then.

    Another book-related plug: If you want my interview with Maurice in book form, buy Didier Ghez’s Walt’s People Volume 5. You’ll get it, plus lots of other worthwhile reading.

    Thanks for the kind words, Dave…I spent a lot of time with Maurice six years or so of his life, and it still startles me sometimes to think that he’s no longer with us.