Five background layouts by the endlessly inventive Maurice Noble for the Chuck Jones-directed “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!”, 1970. Colored pencil, graphite, marking pen, and gouache on 12 field MGM animation paper. The half-hour animated television* special won a Peabody Award for excellence in children’s programming. 

*Please note the shape of the television screen in drawings 1 and 3. 

P.S. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”


More background-art inspiration ahoy!

This mood-board selection is by the great Warner Brothers layout/background artist Maurice Noble - a huge favourite of mine!

An utter legend in animation circles, his main claim to fame is the backgrounds for the legendary Road-Runner in the 50’s. Whilst they originally started off as being a very detailed cartoony style (drawn by the equally legendary Robert Gribbroek), Noble took over the reigns and pushed things in a more abstract direction.

I really like his abstract approach and is a great complement to the UPA Studios style looked at previously.

I think something similar will work really well for Buggyz, the main thrust being not to get in the way of the main game-play, but enhance the experience - much in the same way layout artists worked 60 years ago!

Thank you Maurice - I doff my cap to your fantastic work! 

Time to continue sketching…