Quotes / The Silent Age of Animation

"The early days of animation in New York were an exciting time. The business attracted a strange breed—signpainters, salesman, cartoonists—most of them failures. The rule was: if you could hold a pencil, you could animate. But we were a dedicated lot. We were pioneering a new industry, and having a vast amount of fun doing it. And money. As a kid I was making a hundred and fifty dollars a week. Some animators made four hundred dollars a week. Big money in those days."
—Fleischer and Disney veteran Dick Huemer, reminescing about his early days.

"Plots? We never bothered with plots. They were just a series of gags strung together. And not very funny, I'm afraid. Usually there were three animators on a cartoon. If we were working on a Mutt and Jeff cartoon, one of us might say, 'Let's make a picture about Hawaii.' Okay, fine. So each of us would work on a third of the picture. A couple of weeks later, we'd make a hookup. 'Where have you got 'em?' I'd ask. The other animator might have Mutt and Jeff on a surfboard at the end of his sequence. So I'd begin mine on a surfboard."
—Dick Huemer

"Although anything was possible in the world of the cartoonist, we had to discover what we could do bit by bit. The early artist didn't think of defying gravity. It was discovered by accident."
—Disney veteran Ted Sears, referring to Albert Hurter creating a gravity-defiance gag in a Mutt And Jeff cartoon by accident.