dFX News - Maurice Noble Passes Away, Shrek Makes $42.1 Million in Opening Weekend.
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Sunday - May 20, 2001
- Maurice Noble Passes Away at 91 Years of Age
- Shrek Makes and Estimated $42.1 Million in Opening Weekend
- Mickey Mouse Drawings Don't Save Cartoon Museum!
- News Link of the Day - Arts Extra: The Lessons of Hollywood’s Creative Crisis

Maurice Noble Passes Away at 91 Years of Age
Maurice Noble(by digitalmediafx.com) Animation layout and design legend Maurice Noble passed away on Friday at the age of 91. Noble's distinct and innovative use of color and design can be seen in classic Disney films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Fantasia.

Noble worked on more than 60 Warner Bros. cartoons featuring characters such as Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. A lot of his influence could be seen in 1995's "That's Warner Bros." production which took a look at classic Warner Bros. animated shorts.

Noble's history in animation layout and art is almost unrivaled.

"He enhanced every film, and provided inspiration and creativity to the team," says another well-known name in the industry - Chuck Jones. "He never showed off, but he did show up every layout man or art director I have ever known by his honesty, his devotion to his craft, and above all, his commitment to the film at hand. Without him, a great many of my films could not have been made."

Noble's fame and style stuck with him until his death. Several years ago he was asked to begin training a new generation of artists in his style and technique. He accepted the challenge and the group he was training quickly became known as the "Noble Boys."

Maurice NobleAfter World War II (in which Noble created animated films for the Armed Forces), Noble entered into a creative partnership with Jones that would continue, off and on, for nearly 50 years. Some of the more famous animated short subjects he designed include "Duck Dodgers in the 24th Century," "Bully For Bugs," "Duck Amuck" and "What's Opera, Doc?"

"What's Opera, Doc?" was inducted into the National Film Registry in December 1992 for "being among the most culturally, historically or aesthetically significant films of our time."

In the 1960s, Noble's collaboration with Jones continued as both produced many Dr. Suess classics including "The Cat In The Hat," "Horton Hears a Who," and the original animated adaptation of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas."

At the time of his death, Noble was working on a design and layout book. There's no word yet on how far along he was and if the work completed will be published.

Noble is survived by his wife Marjorie, two children and a grandson. His life will be celebrated in a memorial service in June.

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Shrek Makes an Estimated $42.1 Million in Opening Weekend!
(by digitalmediafx.com) Weekend estimates are in and Shrek was crowned king of the Box Office with a $42.1 million take, topping last year's Dinosaur animated movie by Disney released the same weekend a year ago. That's also more than double DreamWorks Chicken Run release last year, which brought in $17.6 million in its opening weekend.

While the opening of Shrek isn't the biggest in animation history, it is among the top and gives the movie a chance at breaking into the Top 10 Animated Movies of all time list. Shrek's estimated $42.1 million take even beats Disney's The Lion King, which made $40.8 million in its opening weekend in 1994 on its way to becoming the number one highest grossing animated movie of all time.

Final numbers will be released Monday evening. Click here to visit the dFX Shrek Movie Site.

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Mickey Mouse Drawings Don't Save Cartoon Museum!
(by digitalmediafx.com) The International Museum of Cartoon Art's quest to sell rare Mickey Mouse drawings - including a storyboard for "Plane Crazy" - didn't go as planned on Saturday, leaving the museum still in debt.

The "Plane Crazy" storyboard, valued at $3.2 million, only sold for $800,000. Dozens of other Mickey Mouse drawings sold far under their value or didn't sell at all. This leaves the museum still in debt to a bank that holds its mortgage. The museum says it will now work on fund raisers or possibly sell its building in order to get out of debt.

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News Link of the Day - Arts Extra: The Lessons of Hollywood’s Creative Crisis

According to MSNBC:

"Every year I keep a running list of the films I’ll want to remember in December when it comes time to compile my 10 Best list. The year 2001 was a third over at the end of April, and a stunning fact stared me in the face. The major Hollywood studios had not produced one film that had a prayer of ending up on my list. In fact, the studios had not—until the arrival of Shrek in mid-May—released even one good movie, by any standards.…"

Click here for the full story.

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