This filmography contains nearly 700 titles, starting with the earliest Fleischer film in1915 and covering all subsequent work by Max and Dave Fleischer through the Fleischer Studios years.
The Fleischers operated under various names from their early experimental days in the mid-1910s until they formed Fleischer Studios in 1929. The brief outline below shows some of the names they worked under and the series they created between the years 1915 and 1942.
1915 In December 1915, Max files a patent application for his invention of the Rotoscope. It’s possible that his earliest film experiments with the Rotoscope involved footage of Boy Scouts working with semaphore flags. While the footage no longer exists, this is depicted in the Rotoscope patent application.
Max also experiments with an as-yet unnamed clown character (really his brother Dave dressed in a clown costume).
1916 Max joins the staff of Bray Studios as an artist and production manager. Bray Studios, headed by J.R. Bray, was a pioneer in early film, especially animation.
1917-18 While working for Bray, Max makes some of the first Army training films at the School of Fire, Fort Sill, Oklahoma during WWI.
1918 WWI ends. Max returns to Bray and resumes work related to the Rotoscope, producing Out of the Inkwell films for release by The Bray Pictograph Screen Magazine. In addition, Max oversees other educational and scientific films for Bray. Dave also joins Bray.
1919 Max becomes a partner with Bray.
1921 Max and Dave leave Bray and start their own company: Out of the Inkwell, Inc. They continue the Out of the Inkwell series.
1923 The Clown is given his name: Ko-Ko.
1923 Staff size grows and the studio moves to 1600 Broadway in Manhattan. In addition to Out of the Inkwell, Inc., the Fleischers, together with others, form Red Seal Pictures in order to distribute their own films. They begin making live action films as well as animation. For more about the Red Seal years, see The Rise and Fall of Red Seal Pictures in the Fleischer Studio Museum.
1924 The studio changes its name to Out of the inkwell Films, Inc. (aka Inkwell Studios) and starts producing the Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes series.
1924-5 Red Seal Pictures produces the Inklings series, but doesn’t release these films until 1928.
1925 Out of the Inkwell Films, Inc. produces the first of the Marvels of Motion live-action films using the then-new Novograph slow-motion camera.
1926-7 Red Seal Pictures starts producing the Back Stage Comedies live-action series sometimes referred to as the Carrie of the Chorus series.
1927 Out of the Inkwell Films, Inc. is renamed Inkwell Studios, and the Out of the Inkwell series is renamed the Inkwell Imps series.
1929 Max and Dave incorporate as Fleischer Studios, Inc.
1929-42 Fleischer Studios produces over 430 films and 8 separate series: Screen Songs, Talkartoons, Betty Boop Cartoons, Popeye the Sailor, A Color Classic (including Hunky & Spunky), Stone Age Cartoons, Animated Antics, Gabby, Superman as well as advertising films for various companies and a handful of other films such as an animated Raggedy Ann and Andy and a film for the Magicians Society of America. The last film produced by Fleischer Studios was Terror on the Midway, part of the extremely popular Superman cartoon series.