According to the New York Times, the "service runs deep with more obscure and retro offerings," noting that the Fleischers' Superman shorts were "notable for their use of rotoscoping, an animation technique that allows animators to trace over live-action footage in order to produce more realistic action. The design also served as a big influence on later DC animation, including “Batman: The Animated Series” and “Superman: The Animated Series.”
The original Fleischer Superman films feature prominently in a recent New York Times review of DC Universe, DC Entertainment's new streaming service.
It's the perfect addition to your Halloween viewing, including some seriously surreal clips, like the one above from "Bubbles." Check it out here!
Nearly two years ago, on December 6, 2015, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the day Max Fleischer submitted his patent application for the Rotoscope. This year we're celebrating the date on which the United States Patent and Trademark Office officially approved Max Fleischer's patent application: October 9, 1917.
You can find part one of our discussion HERE. Stay tuned for even more of our discussion with Mr. Pointer in the coming weeks!
Ray Pointer is the author of The Art and Inventions of Max Fleischer.
The TMC evening continues with two films directed by Max's son, the acclaimed film director Richard Fleischer: the noir classic The Narrow Margin (1952) followed by the sci-fi thriller Soylent Green (1973) starring Charlton Heston. Thanks to animation historian Ray Pointer for helping to make this wonderful event into a reality. Ray's upcoming book The Art and Invention of Max Fleischer: An American Animation Pioneer is due to be released in December of this year.
From start to finish that's more than 4 hours of Fleischer films, covering 35 years of film making, and featuring 3 generations of the Fleischer family. You don't want to miss this!
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!
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'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.
Check out Max and Me!
Ginny Mahoney, Max Fleischer’s granddaughter, has started posting delightful short essays about growing up with her “PopMax” and letting us in on little-known and unique info about our ever-popular Betty Boop!
Click here to read Ginny’s first blog post.
Keep checking bettyboop.com for more exciting posts in the coming weeks.