UPA Co-Founder Hurtz Passes
One of the founders of the UPA animation studio, William Hurtz, has passed away. He was 81 years old. Hurtz started his career at Disney in 1938 as an assistant. He assisted Art Babbitt on FANTASIA's "Mushroom Dance Sequence." Hurtz was an active member of the Hollywood Cartoonists' Union and made the motion to strike at Disney in 1941. Hurtz spent the war years at the Film Motion Picture Unit. FMPU was stationed in Culver City as part of the U.S. Army Signal Corps under Major Rudy Ising of Harmon & Ising fame. Throughout World War II they did training cartoons for overseas servicemen. Their ranks boasted artists like Sgt. Frank Thomas, John Hubley and Ted Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Suess). After WWII, Hurtz helped create the UPA animation studio. He directed the short THE UNICORN IN THE GARDEN and co-designed GERALD MCBOING-BOING and other classic films of the UPA era. Hurtz also directed episodes of the ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE SHOW, GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, FRACTURED FLICKERS, Frank Capra's Bell Telephone Science series and commercials with Shamus Culhane's studio.