Happy New Year, Everyone! We're thrilled to start 2015 with the first post in a new regular series on this blog: "Max and me" featuring personal remembrances and family stories from Ginny Mahoney, Max Fleischer's granddaughter.
Ginny is also the daughter of Seymour Kneitel who met his wife-to-be, Ruth Fleischer, while working at Fleischer Studios as an animator. Seymour later went on to run Famous Studios, where Ginny spent many summers inking and painting animation cels, and eventually working as a designer and director of exhibits for the Smithsonian. As the Fleischer family historian and archivist, we're thrilled that she will be lending her talents, skills and her personal insights with us through this series.
Max and me by Ginny Mahoney
As a child, I – like all of Max’s children and grandchildren – knew him as ‘PopMax.’ My brothers and I had no idea he was world-famous for the characters he created and so wonderfully brought to the screen. To us, Koko the Clown and our beloved Betty Boop were so much a part of our lives that they seemed like members of the family!
In an effort to understand why Betty and so many of PopMax’s other creations remain such beloved and iconic characters, I began researching and reflecting on my own family’s history: Max’s story, the birth of Fleischer Studios, the characters they created and the times in which they lived.
Every once in a while I’ll post some of the fascinating things I’ve discovered along the way.
For starters –
Do you know how many films Betty appeared in during the 1930s?
From her very first film in August 1930 (Dizzy Dishes) to her last film in November 1939 (Rhythm on the Reservation)- in those nine short years- Betty was in about 110 films. She became so wildly popular that by 1933 she was averaging a new film every month. In fact she became so popular that her films were sometimes announced on the theater marquee together with the feature!