Analysis – Earl Hurd

Earl Hurd was an animator and film director and a comic strip artist from Kansas City, Missouri.  He was a leader in the animating field and was revered by many.  It all started when he was born September 14, 1880.  He worked on the “Trials of Elder Mouse, Brick Bodkin’s Pa, and Susie Sunshine’s comic strips all in the early 1900’s at Paul Terry’s Terrytoons.  After making these cartoons he moved to Walt Disney Studio where he worked as a storyboard artist.  That is where he got recognized as a great artist and where the world could see him do what he did best and get exposed to his work.  Eventually he opened up his own production studio named Earl Hurd Productions studio in 1923.  He is known by historians to be one of the greatest animators of his time, and known for being one of the most inventive and innovative artists.  This can by seen through how he pioneered the technique of Cel Animation.

A technique that Hurd invented and utilized in all of his work was Cel Animation.  In early Cel Animation, all of the items in the cartoon were drawn on to a single sheet of paper.  As time went on this technique further developed and artists began to draw characters and other items in the animation on transparent sheets of paper so that it was easier to transfer things from frame to frame and things could be done far more accurately.  This also allowed for different layers of things happening within each frame.  Utilizing this technique allowed for multiple complex things happening in an animation.  It also allowed for parts of an animation to remain static while other parts of the animation could be dynamic.  This created much more stable backgrounds.  Before this technique was truly refined, every frame was done from scratch and it was very apparent when watching the cartoons.  This technique revolutionized how animation was done and made for much better, more interesting and far more accurate cartoons.  This technique also saved a lot of time, money, energy and labor.   In 1914 Hurd was given a patent for this technique that he pioneered.

My Flipbook relates to Hurd’s style in that I tried to involve a gag and my cartoon involved animals as his always did.

Hurd is truly one of the best animators of his day.  His work can be truly recognized as some of the greatest early cartoon work.  He is truly revered, and helped define the fundamentals of cartooning.  His work has inspired many, and will continue to inspire artists for years to come.  Hurd passed away on September 28, 1940, and though he is no longer with us, his memory and work will continue to live on forever.


About JamesWrobel

I'm a junior at Alfred State College majoring in Digital Media and Animation. I specialize in digital art and photography rather than drawing and painting. It's a work in progress and I'm working hard to achieve my dreams.
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