Fleischer Studios Christmas Card Gallery
The cards in this gallery are organized into 4 Galleries for faster loading. For specific information on each card you can hover your mouse over the card, or click on any card to go into slideshow mode (which will also offer you a larger image with the caption underneath). All cards are from the Fleischer Family Collection.
6: Joe Stultz began in the Fleischer’s story department in the l930’s and stayed on to work at Famous Studios. He wrote stories for a wide variety of films including many of the Popeye stories – In later years, after Fleischer Studios closed; he worked again with Max Fleischer as a writer (in 1953) for “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” This card circa 1932.
7: Abner Kneitel, a distant cousin of animator Seymour Kneitel, was also an animator at Fleischer Studios (and Famous Studios) from the 1930s to 1944. He met is wife Florence while both were working at the studio, one of many marriages between studio staff. During World War II he served in the US Navy, after which he returned to Florida and ran a gift shop. Card dated 1932.
13: This 1937 card from the Roland (‘Doc’) Crandalls features Popeye and company. Besides an amazing career in animation, ‘Doc’ had served in the Mexican Border Conflict and with the 11th Engineers in the French front during World War I, and in World War II he was active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
14: This card from Rudy Zamora reflects his Mexican heritage. Co-worker Shamus Culhane is quoted as saying about Zamora…” He loved to yarn about his Mexican background, and how his mother nursed Pancho Villa when he was wounded and in hiding. This was fun, but it did hold up production for everyone but Zamora. Late in the afternoon he would sit down and bat out more animation than the rest of us had done toiling and sweating all day, and it was better.”
17: This card featuring Betty Boop was made by Willard Bowsky. Willard began working for Fleischer Studios in the late 1920's, and in 1930 was promoted to animator. He left the studio (which had recently become Famous Studios) in 1942 to enlist in the U.S. Army. Willard died in action Nov. 1944, in France, at the age of 37.
23. Ruth and Seymour met while both were working at Fleischer Studios. Seymour Kneitel began working in animation at age 16. After early training at various animation studios, in 1925 he joined Fleischer Studios, beginning a long career as writer, animator, director of animation-- and together with two partners he managed both successor Studios to Fleischer Studios, Famous Studios and Paramount Cartoon Studios.
26: Myron Waldman began working in animated films in the mid-1920's. He joined Fleischer Studios in 1930, and by 1935 was promoted to head animator. He held the record for working on the most Betty Boop cartoons and was the first to draw Betty's dog, Pudgy. He met his future wife, Rosalie, while she was working as an animation checker. Yet another studio marriage!
28. Jack Mercer, originally hired by the Fleischer’s as an in-betweener, began doing Popeye's voice in 1935. He did Popeye and voices for other Fleischer films for many years. Margie Hines and Jack Mercer were married briefly in the late 1930's/early 1940's. This card with the spinach wreath reflects their long association with those characters.
33: Dick Huemer entered animation in 1916, in New York City, working on Mutt and Jeff. In 1923 he joined Fleischer Studios, where he became the unsurpassed animator of early Ko-Ko films, and eventually became head animator on many Fleischer projects. In the early 1930’s he moved to Hollywood to work first for Charles Mintz, after which he spent several years animating with Disney Studios, as well as becoming their story director on films such as 'Dumbo' and 'Fantasia.'
34: Nellie Sanborn was hired by Fleischer Studios in 1924 as a Planner. The advent of sound into animation made it necessary to have a Timing Department to check that individual drawings synchronize properly with sound. Nellie soon became Head of the new Timing Department. (It's likely this drawing is by another staffer.)
38. Larry Lippman began as an office boy for Max Fleischer. He was eventually promoted and became a planner, checker, and then cameraman. He left Fleischer Studios during WWII to work in the Army Signal Corps as an animation cameraman. Eventually he opened his own company in New York City, working with animation and optical effects.
40,41: Christmas card from Fleischer animator Jimmie ‘Shamus’ Culhane (dated 1930). Shamus' first animation job was at age 16 punching holes in paper cells for $12. a week at the Bray Studio. He began work at Fleischer Studios in 1930, where he moved quickly from in-betweener to full fledged animator, contributing to many of their classic cartoons.
41. This card from Jimmie (‘Shamus’) Culhane includes Fleischer stars, Betty Boop, Bimbo and Ko-Ko. Shamus is best known for animating Betty Boop's famous hula scene in “Bamboo Isle.” That same dance was re-used in the first Popeye animated film (which was in the Betty Boop series). After leaving Fleischer Studios Shamus worked at a succession of other animation studios….. a total of over 18 studios in his long career.
42: Card signed by animator Eli Brucker (not dated). His comment on the bottom…’and a gaggy new year.. refers to the great emphasis there was on creating ‘gag’s in the cartoons. It’s said that the art direction given was that there should be a ‘gag’ in every scene! During the famous studio strike in 1937 he was the only animator who would not cross the picket line.
48. George Rufle started working in animation in 1916, and by 1918 was hired by Barre Studio to work on the Mutt and Jeff series. He joined Fleischer Sudios in the early 1930’s, and remained there through it’s transition to Famous Studios, leaving there in 1958. He’s best known for his work animating and driection the entire run of the Tom and Jerry series at Van Buren Studios from 1931-33.
61. Al Eugster’s career began in 1925 in silent films. From 1929 to '32 Al worked at Fleischer Studios, where he did his first animation. He moved west in 1932, working for several Hollywood Studios (including Disney) before rejoining Fleischer Studios in Florida to work on “Gulliver's Travels.” He also remained to work at Fleischer's successor studio, Famous Studios, until 1957.
66. Berny Wolf began a long career in animation in 1924 as an inker for Krazy Kat films. Shortly atfer that he joined Fleischer Studios where he worked on Ko-Ko, Betty Boop, and even rotoscoped the famous scene of Cab Calloway as the ghost Walrus in “Minnie the Moocher.”After leaving Fleischer Studios he worked briefly for Ub Iwerks, before moving to Disney where he worked on “Pinocchio,” “Fantasia,” and “Dumbo.” He continued to work in animation on his own and for others until he retired in the 1980's.
67. Charlie Biro worked at Fleischer Studios as an assistant animator (1930-32) and animator/director (1932-36). However, the bulk of his career that followed this was in writing and creating comic book characters and art. He became well known in the comic book field for his crime and action stories. This card dated 1931.
72. In the late 1920’s through 1930 Ted Sears worked as an animator at Fleischer Studios. In addition to animating, Ted also contributed many story ideas. His natural ability in story development led to his being hired in 1931 as the first head of the Disney Story Departent, where he stayed for 27 years writing for “Snow White,” “Fantasia,” “Cinderella,”and virtually every major Disney production.
80. In 1931 Dave Tendlar began working as an animator for Max Fleischer on the ‘Out of the Inkwell’ films. He stayed with Fleischer Studios and its successor, Famous Studios, until the mid 1950's. During that time he received credit on over 100 films including Betty Boop, Popeye, Screen Songs and “Gulliver’s Travels.”
82. Don Figlozzi (aka Figliozzi) was an animator who joined Fleischer Studios in 1931. After leaving the studio he became a cartoonist for the New York Daily News (signing his name ‘Fig’). During WWII he worked on training films for the Army Signal Corps, and later became one of the earliest animators working in TV. This card dated 1935.
84. Working first for Bray Studios at age 16, by the 1930's Frank Paiker was inking and coloring cells at Fleischer Studios, where he eventually became Head of the Coloring Department. He later went on to a long career in animation that included working at MGM and serving as head of the Camera Department at Hanna-Barbera.
87. From Violet (Vee) and Ted Sears, dated 1937. This card must be before their baby, Marcie, was born. After the baby arrives she is featured in the Christmas cards. Before coming to work for Fleischer Studios, Ted worked in silent films where he lettered title slides, made props and worked with trick photography. Most all his Christmas cards use photography as well as elaborate set-ups using his family. In this card he has fun with some of the article titles…’Wedding is held in Butcher Shop’…’Sanity Restored by Strange Drug’… sounds like an animator!
88. This card is from Ted Sears, his wife Vee, and daughter Marcia. From the late 1920’s through 1930, Ted Sears worked for Fleischer Studios as an animator. In fact Ted Sears was a head animator on “Dizzy Dishes,” Betty Boop’s first film. In addition to animation, Ted contributed many clever story ideas to the studio. In 1931, he was hired away by Disney to become the first head of their story department. He stayed at Disney for many years doing story work on such films as “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty” and many other well-known films.
91. This card is from Emily, Dee Dee, and Tom Palmer. Tom Palmer’s birth name was Anthony “Tony” Pipolo. Apparently for professional reasons he changed it to Tom Palmer. Tom had worked at a number of other animation studios, including Universal, Disney, Schlesinger, and Van Buren before joining Fleischer Studios in the later 1930’s, where he worked on “Gulliver’s Travels.”
94 - A: This is the front of a card from Esther and Dave Hoffman. Dave was a Fleischer Studios animator in the 1930’s. He worked on films featuring Betty Boop, Wiffle Piffle, and even the famous Fleischer ‘Bouncing Ball.’ When he left Fleischer Studios in the late 1930’s, he animated Porky Pig under Bob Clampett and Looney Tunes. By the 1960’s, Dave was doing work for TV that included Spider-Man and Crusader Rabbit. The following image is of the inside of the card.
94-B: This in the inside of a card from Esther and Dave Hoffman. The previous image is the front of the card. Dave was a Fleischer Studios animator in the 1930’s. He worked on films featuring Betty Boop, Wiffle Piffle, and even the famous Fleischer ‘Bouncing Ball.’ When he left Fleischer Studios in the late 1930’s, he animated Porky Pig under Bob Clampett and Looney Tunes. By the 1960’s, Dave was doing work for TV that included Spider-Man and Crusader Rabbit.
95. This unusual card is from Dave and Bea Tendlar. Dave began working for Max Fleischer in 1931 as an animator on the early ‘Out of the Inkwell’ films. He stayed with Fleischer Studios and its successor studio Famous Studios, until the mid 1950’s. Dave received film credit on over 100 films including Betty Boop, Popeye, Screen Songs and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. After leaving Famous studios he continued to do work in the field… even working on ‘The Flintstones.’
98. This card is from the Charles Schettler’s family. Charles was the very first employee hired by Max and Dave. He was responsible for creating many of the wonderful visual effects on film. Many of the effects and illusions of depth in the Fleischer films are due to the genius of his camera work. His yearly Christmas cards all feature photographic effects.
Help us out! If you have any additional information about any of the cards included in this exhibit or the artists who created them (especially for those cards for which we have little information), let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.