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William Charles Nolan or simply Bill Nolan (1894-1956) was a pioneering animator from The Silent Age of Animation and The Golden Age of Animation. He was one of the top animators of the Silent Age, capable of turning out a record 500 drawings per day--a feat only surpassed by animator Ub Iwerks.

Bill was important in that he was a pioneer of the rubberhose art style that defined classical animation--the origins of it began in 1924, when working on Felix the Cat with Otto Messmer, that he decided to redesign Felix into a softer, curvier design than before, to not only make it easier for animation to overlap and be smoother, but also make animation less of a burden for the workers. Thus, he is the father of Rubber Hose Limbs.

Nolan also discovered that if a long background painting was slid under a character running in place, it gave the illusion of a camera Pan, thus making him the inventor of the Wraparound Background.

Mr. Nolan also did a rare instructional book on how to draw newspaper comic characters, which can be found here, courtesy of Animation Resources.


List of Cartoons He Worked On:

  • Tad's Indoor Sports (1918)
  • Tad's Little Daffydills (1918)
  • Cupid's Advice (1920)
  • Apollo (1920)
  • Happy Hooldini (1920)
  • A Romance of '76 (1920)
  • Oil (1920)
  • Roll Your Own (1921)
  • A Close Shave (1921)
  • Hot Dogs (1921)
  • The Smoke Eater (1925)
  • The Flight That Failed (1925)
  • Hair Raiser (1925)
  • A Uke-Calamity (1925)
  • Bokays and Brickbatz (1925)
  • Jams & Gems (1925)
  • Monkey Business (1925)
  • Battling For Barleycorn (1925)
  • Punctured Romance (1925)
  • The Ghost Fakir (1925)
  • The Sucker Game (1925)
  • Back To Batching (1925)
  • Double Crossed (1925)
  • Scents and Nonsense (1926)
  • The Feather Pushers (1926)
  • Cops Suey (1926)
  • Puss and Boots (1926)
  • Chicken Chaser (!926)
  • East Is Best (1926)
  • Shore Enough (!926)
  • Watery Gravy (!926)
  • Cheese It (1926)
  • Dots and Dashes (1926
  • The Wrong Queue (1926
  • Gold Struck (1926)
  • Horse Play (1927)
  • Busy Birds (!927)
  • Sharps and Flats (1927)
  • Kiss Crossed (1927)
  • Fool's Errand (!927)
  • Stomach Trouble (!927)
  • Hire A Hall (1927
  • Don Go On (1927
  • Burnt Up (1927
  • Night Owl (1927
  • The Rug (1927)
  • On The Trail (1927
  • Passing the Hat (1927)
  • Best Wishes (1927
  • Wild Rivals (1927
  • Topsy and Eva (1927
  • The King of Jazz (1930): Worked on the animated segment of the film.
  • The Singing Sap (1930): First work at the Walter Lantz studio. An Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short.
  • The Detective (1930)
  • The Fowl Ball (!930)
  • The Navy (1930)
  • Mexico (1930)
  • Africa (1930)
  • Alaska (1930)
  • Mars (1930)
  • China (1931)
  • College (1931)
  • Shipwreck (1931)
  • The Farmer (1931)
  • The Fireman (!931)
  • Sunny South (!931)
  • Country School (1931)
  • The Bandmaster (1931
  • Northwoods (1931
  • Stone Age (1931
  • The Stone Age (1931)
  • Radio Rhythm (1931)
  • Kentucky Belles (1931(
  • Hot Feet
  • The Hunter
  • Wonderland
  • The Hare Mail
  • The Fisherman
  • The Clown
  • Grandma's Pet (1932)
  • Mechanical Man
  • Wins Out
  • Beau and Arrows
  • Making Good
  • Let's Eat
  • The Winged Horse
  • Cat Nipped
  • A Wet Knight
  • A Jungle Jumble
  • Day Nurse
  • The Athlete
  • The Busy Barber
  • Carnival Capers
  • The Under Dog
  • Wild and Woolly
  • Teacher's Pests
  • Merry Dog (1933)
  • The Plumber
  • The Terrible Trobador
  • The Shriek
  • Going to Blazes
  • Beau Best
  • Nature's Workshop
  • Ham and Eggs
  • Pin Feathers
  • Confidence
  • Hot and Cold
  • King Klunk
  • Five and Dime
  • The Zoo
  • The Merry Old Soul
  • Parking Space (1933)
  • Chicken Reel (1934)
  • The Candy House
  • County Fair
  • Country Fair
  • The Toy Shoppe
  • Kings Up
  • The Ginger Bread Boy
  • Goldielocks and the Three Bears
  • Annie Moved Away
  • William Tell
  • The Dizzy Dwarf
  • Spring in the Park (1934): Last Lantz short he worked on.
  • Gulliver's Travels (1939): Was an animator on the film.
  • Poopdeck Pappy (1940): animation director Popeye cartoon directed by him.
  • Child Psykolojiky (1941): animation director
  • The Flying Jeep (1946)
  • The Woody Woodpecker Show (1957): Did animation for the bridging segments.
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