As an added bonus, this exciting exhibit includes private, never-before-released, home audio recordings from the Fleischer Family Collection. What was it like to be a member of Fleischer Studios' inner circle of family and friends? Now you can hear for yourself! Don't miss this very special new exhibit: We're celebrating Max's birthday... and you're invited!
After you've seen how the artists at Fleischer Studios made the magic, watch Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp in its entirety. Don't miss this opportunity to follow the creation of this very special, two-reel, full-color, Popeye classic from beginning to end!
Answer: Max Fleischer's children: Ruth and Richard!
Taken about 1918 (& likely on Flag Day), this would have been taken only about
three years after President Wilson first declared July 19th as Flag Day.
Ruth went on to work in Fleischer Studios (she was also a performer and was played a featured role in the Carrie of the Chorus series), and married Head Animator Seymour Kneitel.
Richard went on to become an award-winning film director whose credits include
movie classics such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), The Narrow Margin (1952), Soylent Green (1973), The Vikings (1958), Compulsion (1959), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and The Boston Strangler (1968).
Don't miss this fun and fascinating new exhibit featuring one of the earliest extant examples of Max Fleischer's animation plus amazing, never-seen-before footage from Fleischer family home movies (featuring Max himself and their real life dog Bimbo!), and the story of the real-life puppy who just recently joined the ranks of Fleischer dogs! It's all here.
Betty came to life in 1930 when women, having won the right to vote just a decade earlier, were finally liberating themselves from tight, uncomfortable undergarments like girdles with attached metal clasps that held their stockings up. For the modern, more liberated woman of the 1930’s, ‘garter belts’ and ‘roll garters’ offered a newfound sense of freedom and liberation. Not only did they secure a lady’s stockings without the use of awkward, pinching metal clips, they freed women entirely from the restriction and discomfort of girdles!
Betty’s garter wasn’t just a fashion statement; it was one of the symbols of her status as a modern, liberated woman. For more conservative elders, the image of young women dancing with flashes of a garter belt showing represented everything scandalous and provocative about the fashions of the day, making the placement of the garter belt as much a statement about the woman herself as the wearing of it.
The Story of Betty’s Famous Garter …….
In her very first film, Dizzy Dishes, Betty is wearing (on both legs) what were known as ‘roll garters,’ fabric covered circular bands of elastic that would roll over the top of each stocking to hold them up. From these mainly functional (but still sexy) garters, Betty moved on to the more sensual lone garter that didn’t appear until her 7th film “Silly Scandals.”
Animators working on these early films used ‘model sheets’ as a guide. These sheets were created to show the characteristics of each character, so that all the animators working on a film would be consistent about how they drew the details of a character. This didn’t always work as planned. The first drawing here (at the top of the page) is from a very early model sheet of Betty that shows the garter on her right leg--- a second drawing (right) from a later model sheet clearly shows the garter on her left leg, and states that it should always be there. In spite of this… and though Betty’s garter is usually on her left leg…. it sometimes appears on her right leg…. and if you look carefully you’ll even find a few films (like “Minnie the Moocher”) where, in the same film, it’s sometimes on her right leg and sometimes on her left leg!
Max and me by Ginny Mahoney
Though the rest of us grew older, Betty Boop seemed to remain as young and vital as ever. Even today, the world is watching the films Fleischer Studios made in the 1930’s.
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.
That’s what I want to share with all of you --
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?
Does this post look familiar? Some of "Max and Me" posts also appear on BettyBoop.com
It is with sadness that we share this story from the Miami Herald reporting the passing of Jean Karaty, who worked as an artist for Fleischer Studios during its Miami-based years. She passed away on Thanksgiving morning.
Mrs. Karaty was discovered at her mother’s dress shop in Miami Beach "by an employee who noticed her drawings of flowers, animals and cartoon characters and encouraged her to visit the studio." In a 2003 piece in the Miami Herald she recalled going to the theater to watch the cartoons before the movie: “You’d say, ‘I did that! I worked on that!’ and the people around us would say ‘Shh!’ They thought we were just a bunch of rowdies.”
We send our sympathies to her family and encourage you to check out the Herald's lovely tribute HERE.
Here’s an odd bit of film history! When sound first came to film, it was such a novelty that some companies believed the audience needed an explanation about how the magic happened. Western Electric was one of those companies.
For about a year in 1928-29, Max Fleischer's animation studio was housed in the Carpenter-Goldman Film Laboratories in Long Island City, NY. Max and Frank Goldman teamed up to create Finding His Voice, an educational film for Western Electric, that explained how a film could ‘talk.’
In an interview fifty years later for Cinegram Magazine, Frank Goldman looked back at the making of Finding His Voice:
“Western Electric developed a new sound system that was sound on a record. They had a deal with Warner Brothers for The Jazz Singer (1927). Shortly after that Western Electric produced sound on film and all the theaters were desperate to obtain sound equipment. To get it they had to agree to run a film explaining the process the week before they started the regular run. This was a single reel Max Fleischer and I made. I got the contract and Max and I worked together on it. The film was to explain to the public how film got its voice. We showed a little roll of film- a character with sprocket holes, legs and what not. He’s sent into a Dr. Western who examines him and looks in his mouth. No cords, he can’t talk. The doctor takes his pulse. I’ll never forget. Fleischer put in a little jumping pulse as a sight gag. The doctor puts his finger on it and it moves away. He puts his finger on it again and it jumps back. Then he takes the character into a sound studio where he sings “Just a Song at Twilight” into a microphone. We showed how the sound waves went into the mike and were carried along the wires to the sound track stripe. It was simplified and the audience caught on right away.” Kirkpatrick, Diane. "Animation Gold." Cinegram Magazine 1978: 30. Print. Reprinted by permission of Diane Kirkpatrick.
Luckily, the film has survived the ages. Check it out in our Theater!
For more on the Carpenter-Goldman Film Laboratories - and how the Fleischers came to be in the same space - see the previous blog post. It's a story you won't want to miss!
It's All Relative(s)! - a young journalist writes about animation history and discovers she is a part of the story!
In the Small World Department, Fleischer Studios’ historian Ginny Mahoney was recently contacted by high school sophomore Louisa Goldman. A budding young journalist, Louisa was working on an article about Lucas Gray, an animator living in Santa Monica, who was heavily influenced by the work of early pioneering animators, including Max Fleischer and Fleischer Studios.
Ginny and Louisa had a lovely long conversation about Max and the history of Fleischer Studios, and Louisa wrote up her article. It wasn’t until her family read the article that Louisa found out she was not only writing about Fleischer Studios, she was related to it! And in some very important and foundational ways.
As it turns out, Louisa is related to Roger Goldman, who’s related to Frank Goldman. Frank Goldman is credited with making a huge difference in the survival of Max and Dave's fledgling animation business back in the 1920s. Here’s an excerpt from Out of the Inkwell, Richard Fleischer’s biography about his father, Max Fleischer:
"To cut a long and depressing story short, Max and Dave found it impossible to work for Weiss and quit the company. Shortly after they resigned, Weiss declared bankruptcy and disappeared.
And if that’s not enough, it appears Louisa is also related to J.F. Leventhal. Mr. Leventhal was a very early partner of Max’s and together they created the very first military training films – for WWI.
So, relatively speaking, this was a fabulous connection for both Louisa – and Fleischer Studios!
You can read Louisa’s article, Behind the scenes of Jewish Animation, here.
Richard Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell is available here.
Photo of Fleischer Studios staff, taken outside Goldman-Carpenter Labs, Long Island City, where the studio was located for about a year in 1929. Front row l. to r.: possibly Sid Wallick, Edith Vernick, George Cannata, Seymour Kneitel, Max Fleischer, Charles Shettler, Sid Marcus. Al Eugster behind Vernick (with hat and cigar). Behind Cannata and S. Kneitel is Abner Kneitel. Wearing a white hat (on left) is Rudy Zamora. In distance behind Seymour is Joe Fleischer (wearing suspenders), William Henning is man with his hand on the window. 1929.
PLUS check out pages from the original script, some of the animator's own artistic commentary on their experience with this massive under-taking and find out why, even if you think you've seen Gulliver's Travels... you may not have seen it in it's entirety. Click here now for more!
Oh, and let us know what you think; we love hearing from you!
July 19 is Max Fleischer’s birthday. Born in 1883, when Krakow was part of the Austrian Empire (yup, that long ago!), Max came to the United States in 1887 with his mother, Amelia Fleischer, and his older brother Charlie. His father, William Fleischer, had immigrated the previous year. The family landed in New York, eventually settling in Brooklyn.
Did you know . . . that Max’s birth name was not Max Fleischer! He was born Majer (or Modher) Palasz. His parents’ Austrian names were Aaron Wolf Fleischer and Malka (or Molka) Palasz, and brother Charlie’s birth name was Kalman.
This just from Animation Scoop on the Indie Network of blogs: A tribute to the film of Fleischer Studios May 30, May 31 and June 1!
According to Mr. Beck, "This is part of a special film series presented at classic movie theatre in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Highlights will include several films for which Max Fleischer was nominated for Academy Awards:Popeye Meets Sinbad, Superman, Hunky & Spunky, and Educated Fish. Silent cartoons will be accompanied live on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ."
For the full blog post on Animation Scoop, click here.
For more information and directions to this event, click here.