The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design. By Tod Polson (Chronicle Books, $40).
Fans of classic animation gems such as Dumbo, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and numerous Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons are already in love with the rich legacy of layout artist Maurice Noble. In this, one of the best animation books of the year, former Noble apprentice Polson offers a fantastic look at the master artist’s inspiring work process, providing a rich collection of artwork, notes, lovely anecdotes and valuable lessons about creating timeless toons. As his frequent collaborator Chuck Jones notes in the charming intro to the book (taken from the 1987 ASIFA Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony), “Maurice seldom tried to provide animation gags per se, but he created a world where animation could flourish.” In short, the book provides a worthy testament to the genius of this unique American artist.