History Main / MaxAndDaveFleischer

27th May '13 4:41:33 AM Frank75
Is there an issue? Send a Message
[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2nd_Boop_from_Rich_4880.jpg]] [[caption-width-right:300:Max Fleischer, pictured here with WesternAnimation/BettyBoop.]] -->''Both Fleischer and {{Creator/Disney}} had a great deal of respect for each other. The older man had pioneered many of the early innovations in the medium. The younger man, {{Disney}}, had wanted to be another Fleischer.'' -->--Howard Beckerman '''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. They were also a top of the line animation studio in the 1930's and early 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'', the ''{{ComicStrip/Popeye}} The Sailor'' cartoons, and eventually the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons''. [[folder: History of the Fleischers]] Max was born July 19, 1883, to William Fleischer, a moderately successful Austrian tailor who was second of six children, the oldest being Charles and the the younger siblings being Lou, Joe, Dave, and Ethel. Max and Charlie headed for America in 1887, the year prior in 1886 his father had entered New York and set up his own personal business, using a stuffed horse in the display window to attract a variety of customers. After moving from Austria, Max and Charlie were enthusiastic about their new way of life. The brothers performed many dangerous tricks and stunts with their newly purchased bicycles to woo the girls throughout Brooklyn. Max's stunts managed to attract a young Essie Goldstein. The Goldstein's immigrated from England where they had operated a music hall, but had no success with. The Goldstein's moved to America where the Immigration officers gave Essie's parents a new last name because of the difficulty of understanding their language. After Max graduated from high school, he managed to receive apprenticeship for commercial art at Cooper Union, and also, as a fallback career, attended The Mechanics and Trademans School. Max wed Essie Goldstein in 1905, and subsequently had Ruth Fleischer in 1905. Max began his commercial art career at the ''Brooklyn Daily Eagle'' following an encounter with the supervisor there. Max was offered two bucks an hour just to study the artists. Realizing talent when he spotted it, he offered to give Max that salary for running errands; eventually working his way up the career ladder and personally creating his own comic strips, such as ''E.K. Spoosher'' and ''The Kodak Fiend''. Many of the central themes of these strips were rebelling against higher levels of authority, and much of his work was topical, socially conscious and focused on the poverty conditions in areas such as [[NewYorkCity Brownsville Brooklyn]]. Much of his experience in New York cartooning circles had a profound influence as to how he approached animation decades later as a medium; that it was an outgrowth of newspaper cartoons. During his tenure at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, he came into contact with artist [[BrayStudios J.R. Bray]], who specialized in decorating the panels for many of the artists strips. While the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided him with the necessary tools to become a proficient artist, it provided very little money. As a result, Max accepted a job as an illustrator for a fashion catalog in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be subsequently hired at ''Popular Science Monthly'' by Waldemar Kempft, returning to New York City in 1912. Max also couldn't help but acknowledge the budding art form which was animation; which was slowly on the rise in New York in the early 1910's following the success of Creator/WinsorMcCay's initial films, such as ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/GertieTheDinosaur''. He became an avid follower of animation and read many technical articles; at the same time hhe put thought and consideration into trying to correct many of the technical shortcomings that plagued early animated films. Max was determined to provide a solution, particularly once Waldemar Kempft encouraged him to devise a solution following Waldemar's personal experience watching a TheodoreRoosevelt animated cartoon; appalled at the quality, he lamented about it to Max. Waldemar, recognizing his diverse understanding of commercial art, photography, and machinery, encouraged Max to dedicate time to improving the quality of animated films. This was the genesis to the [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscope.]] Max used the film camera that he had previously used in a failed business venture that was funded by his brother-in-law, to try to open an outdoor movie theater to compete against the other theater chains. The hot summer weather, not to mention mosquitoes and heavy rain made it difficult to effectively run the business. Although it was a commercial disaster, they kept the camera that would soon would be used for the original rotoscope. Max's first experiment was with his brother, Dave, in a boyscout outfit waving flag signals; this took eight months to produce between 1914 - 1915. Although most historical records credit the initial rotoscope experiment as Dave dressed as a clown, the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/US_patent_1242674_figure_3.png patent filed in 1915]] clearly shows that Max had already extensively experimented with the rotoscope using other concepts before ever considering rotoscoping with a clown. Once finished, Max showed this experiment to ''Pathe'', using Dave's connections as a film cutter to schedule an appointment with the management. While impressed, they rejected his proposal because it was simply impractical to produce films in such a lengthy period of time. Max managed to cut down production and quickly returned with a rotoscope test of Creator/CharlieChaplin; Pathe, fearing a lawsuit, rejected Max but realizing his potential assigned him and his brothers to produce a short subject on TheodoreRoosevelt using the device. The resulting short was a disaster, and a livid Pathe threw them out. Fortunately, Max was not discouraged and this time performed a third rotoscope experiment, this time using Dave's clown costume from Coney Island. Max was constantly looking for people to distribute his work, with every studio rejecting him; Paramount's offices was his last stop and in all liklihood they were probably going to overlook him as well. However, J.R. Bray was re-negotiating his new contract with Paramount and was willing to watch Max's film reel; this was in many cases because of the friendship they had forged while they worked together at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Bray eagerly accepted Max's film, and determined that they would produce a new entry monthly. However to ensure that they could complete the film on time to satisfy the audiences, they manage to cut production times by [[RogerRabbitEffect making 3/4 of each film live-action.]] So contrary to many historical accounts, the option to make ''OutOfTheInkwell'' partially live-action was pragmatic; to cut down on production times so they could release these films more frequently, and make the series commercially practical. Production for Inkwell began in 1916, around the same time that Max had his second child, eventual film director Richard Fleischer. Production barely started when Max found himself drafted into the army, halting production for a couple of years, working at Fort Sill Oklahoma while producing training films for the Military. Once ''Out of the Inkwell'' began its monthly releases in April of 1919, the series quickly became a critical and audience hit, and ''Inkwell'' just as soon as it began found itself as Bray's biggest breadwinner. Later in 1919, Bray switched distribution from Paramount to Goldwyn. Goldwyn had Bray commit to 156 films annually, realizing this kind of output was not only commercially impractical but impossible, Bray as anyone would came up short on his promise and the studio began to lose its dominance within the industry. Max, realizing that his property was the only thing keeping the company afloat, was compelled to leave following this. Dave Fleischer recently won big at the horse races and used the money to provide start up funds for the ''Inkwell'' films initiated in June, 1921. Bray, desperate to duplicate his success with Out of the Inkwell, enlisted former Hearst employee WalterLantz to produce ''DinkyDoodle''. Max began recruiting a crew of animators; names such as Art Davis, Burt Gillett, David Hand (the former becoming a top disney director in the 30's, the latter who would be the second highest authority at the Disney studio) all worked at Max's studio during the twenties. However, the studio truly prospered when they recruited former Barre animator and lead creative force on the ''Mutt and Jeff'' animated series Dick Huemer worked on in 1923. Dick Huemer's knack for surreal, unconventional brand of humor is what made Out of the Inkwell some of the most unique animated entries of the 1920's. Huemer's draftsmanship was also widely regarded in the industry, to the point that Max believed that he shouldn't wear out his best artists and allow his assistants to draw the in between frames, while Huemer only handled the key poses. Thus one of the most effective production methods, the "in-betweening" system was created because Max was concerned about Huemer performing all the tasks by himself. Huemer was initially cautious about this proposal that Max made but learned to adapt to it. Out of the Inkwell became the second most lucrative series in animation during the twenties only trailing behind Pat Sullivan's ''FelixTheCat''. Although Inkwell was initially distributed by M.J. Winkler who also handled Felix, and newcomer Walt Disney's ''AliceComedies'', Max decided to associate himself with another distribution company buying shares from this company entitled Red Seal films. Red Seal was a company that was not exclusively tied to animation but specialized in almost every genre of film. ''Essie of The Chorus'', a live action short-subject series had Ruth Flesicher as co-star, and eventual WizardOfOz castmember Ray Bolger made his motion picture debut in this series. ''Inklings'' was Dave trying to strike out on his own, sick of living in Max's shadow; much of that frustration planted the seeds for the eventual adversarial relationship the two would have later on. Unfortunately only one of the Inklings, No.12, survives but shows great promise and how inventive Dave Fleischer could be. The most crucial role Red Seal played in its brief history was that Max managed to use Red Seal to come into contact with Lee De Forrest who recognized Max's engineering background and believed it could be of use to conduct some synchronized sound experiments with his cartoons. As a result, ''Song Cartunes'' featured some of the earliest synchronized sound cartoons beginning in 1926, this is a two year advantage over Paul Terry's ''Dinnertime'', and Walt Disney's ''SteamboatWillie.'' Unfortunately, Red Seal was not a commercially successful venture, and the studio found itself in bankruptcy in the summer of 1927. This came right around the period that Max pioneered animated lip-synch in Song Cartunes final entry ''By The Light of the Silvery Moon''. Max losing much of his finances in the venture couldn't pay back the film labs to receive his negatives for upcoming films, so Alfred Weiss paid the films labs to return the negatives and took over management making Max and Dave salaried employees instead of leaders of their own company. Alfred Weiss brought Max into contact with Paramount who would distribute Max's work until his company was acquired by them in June of 1942. The film series was re-titled ''Inkwell Imps'', and would continue to be released until 1929 when the company folded. Alfred Weiss resurrected ''Song Cartunes'' briefly in 1928 where ''My Old Kentucky Home'' was produced [[hottip:*: it is largely mistaken as the Fleischer's cartoon when in actuality it was an entry under Weiss.]] The tension between Max Fleischer and Alfred Weiss made him absent from Out of the Inkwells final films, Inkwells last entries have a series of Weiss employees trying to emulate Max's role as the master cartoonist. Max, after leaving Weiss, managed to re-organize Out of The Inkwell films in 1929 as ''Fleischer Studios'' which is what the company is better known by, Max's friend Frank Goldstein provided studio space in Long Island City free-of-charge as Max began to rebuild the company from scratch and resurrected his Song Cartune series as ''ScreenSongs'' which were very cheap to produce. Max re-associated with Paramount and exploited the fact that him and his staff had added experience with sound animation in comparison to the rest of their competitors, which is a large reason why Paramount decided to distribute them. Screen Songs began in January of 1929, Max decided to expand on his experience with Lip Synch by dedicating {{Talkartoons}} exclusively to that purpose which began with ''Noah's Lark'' in October of 1929. Talkartoons had no central character, like many Flesicher productions the shorts were based on successful gag structure and the characters actions [[MickeyMousing timed to the musical track.]] After several one-shots they would eventually settle on Bimbo, a cigar wielding, sarcastic, chauvinist personality whose design was based on Mickey Mouse's. Much of what Bimbo actually was, was a [[ExPy redesign]] of Fitz from Out of the Inkwell; at least GrimNatwick's personal interpretation of the character. After Huemer accepted a job at Mintz producing the ''Scrappy'' shorts, Natwick became the driving force for Fleischer Studios. Once more Paramount was anxious to promote one its headlining stars Helen Kane and used Talkartoons as a tool to help promote her likeness. Natwick was in charge of conceiving this character as Bimbo's love interest, this character eventually evolved into Betty Boop. She first made a cameo appearance in ''Dizzy Dishes'' and eventually went through several redesigns, much of her development as a personality took place following Grim's departure to the UbIwerks studio. Betty Boop abruptly took over the series and became one of the largest box-office draws of the early 1930's. Talkartoons was converted to Betty Boop by 1932, Bimbo being [[DemotedToExtra demoted to little more than a sidekick]] and Ko-Ko the Clown occasionally being brought out of retirement. Max however had a tendency to downplay Betty's potential; many staff proposed trying to have the character have her own line of merchandise and licensee her to others. Max reminded them that we are exclusively invested in one business, undermining the commercial potential of his own properties is one of many major flaws that questioned Max's business abilities. However as the HaysCode came to provide strict guidelines about what was and wasn't prohibited throughout Hollywood, Betty found herself reinvented. Much of this was not just motivated by the code itself, much of the option to clean up her public image somewhat had to do with the Hays Code but also Paramount's management under the leadership of Barney Balbian decided it was time to reinvent themselves and their image. Paramount went through several bankruptcies and financial re-organizations between 1931 - 1936, they became more budget conscious and with this change of heart they began to play it economically safe by emulating those that had a guaranteed audience such as Disney and MGM but with a fraction of the budget, these attitudes were applied to the direction Fleischer found themselves going from 1934 onward. With less flexible deadlines to meet, and being committed to producing a film a week made it difficult for them to dedicate time to improving their product and their quality began to stagnate from 1934 up until the end of the decade. So many of the advancements that the west coasts found themselves making were not taking place within Fleischer's company, because their picture commitments made it difficult to dedicate time to improving their product. Another issue was concerning Paramount's re-organizations was that Max proposed interest in converting his films to the Three Strip Technicolor process. Paramount, still going through financial re-organization and bankruptcies, rejected anything that was so commercially risky. Max made similar proposals for an animated features as early as 1934 but because of Paramount's skepticism of it being commercial practical, he found himself waiting until Walt Disney proved its commercial practicality with ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' in late 1937. Also despite Betty's popularity, Helen Kane feeling that her career had gone downhill, sued Max for 250,000 dollars in May of 1932, feeling as if she was misrepresented in the Betty Boop cartoons. The trail went on for two years, Kane lamenting about how she owned the rights to the line "Boop Boop a Doop". The primary evidence that had the judge rule against her was that Baby Esther, a somewhat obscure singer, had been using that line prior to Helen Kane, which made Kane's claims seem irrelevant. Regardless, the Betty Boop series would soon find itself outclassed by the Fleischers newcoming star PopeyeTheSailor. Max Fleischer was an avid fan of E.C. Segar's popular comic strip; however King Features Syndicate was skeptical about the Sailors commercial potential. Max convinced them that his grotesque features would make him a successful box-office draw because it helps maintain more comedic appeal. The contract signed in 1932 had listed that they should have all their negatives and traces of the series burned or disposed of within a ten year period, because of their constant skepticism concerning the series merits. The contracts expiration coincides with Paramount's acquisition of Fleischer in 1942 and this played a role in why Paramount bought out the studio when they were in debt with them. Popeye was tested by appearing in a Betty Boop short ([[PoorlyDisguisedPilot although Betty herself only makes a brief appearance]]) before maintaining his own series, because as stated before King Features faith in Popeye was so minimal, that they demanded the negatives to be burned by 1942, in addition that he be paired up with someone who was already a commercial success. Popeye within a couple of years not only exceeded Betty but dethroned Mickey Mouse and made him become irrelevant for the rest of the decade. Popeye was the top box-office draw in animation during the thirties. The mid-thirties proved to be commercially prosperous but also artistically stagnant, as stated earlier their picture commitments, short production periods gave them little time to improve the quality of their work. Despite this they pioneered the precursor to the Multi-Plane which was the Stereoptical Process, aka the Three-Dimensional Setback. This complex device, which used large model sets built out of paper mache and lighting tools, was patented in 1933 but not used until 1934 for Betty Boop's ''Poor Cinderella''. This short was also Max's first foray into color production, in a series called ''ColorClassics'' that would exclusively be dedicated to color production, with Max using Cinecolor instead of Three-Strip which was exclusively controlled by Walt Disney until 1936. The Stereoptical Camera, while technically impressive and successful creating a convincing illusion of depth, was very difficult to control and maintain, and all of the sets were quickly disposed once the film was completed. Max as usual undermined his companies accomplishments and failed to see the intense admiration these sets would receive from cartoon aficionados and historians. Feeling comfortable enough to test Popeye elsewhere Paramount granted Max to produce two-reelers starring the one-eyed sailor. PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor and PopeyeMeetsAliBaba, produced in 1936 and 1937 respectively, were the first time an American animated film had extended beyond one-reel. Although animated features were already pioneered in Argentina, and Germany this was a first for America. The two-reeler's however were downplayed following Walt's triumph with ''Snow White'', after Max had badgered Paramount to produce an animated feature for over three years, they finally caved in. Max however didn't want to continue producing within New York and was anxious to relocate, visibly distressed by his employees unionizing in 1937. Much of this was because of the oppressive working conditions. A lot of this was Paramount's doing as stated earlier with the management change and Barney Balbian's leadership. Not only did they give short deadlines to meet, committing to several different series at once, and oppressive working conditions made it difficult to dedicate time to improving the product. It also added considerably to the working conditions of the staff, who lamented about this through unionization. So a lot of employees that may have had a pre-existing relationship with Max now found themselves on opposite ends and physically confronting some of his close friends who had trouble getting in and out of the studio because of the picketing outside. Max was alienated by New York. He and Dave, by the mid-thirties were dedicating a fraction of the year to going to Miami where they owned vacation homes and just wanted to completely abandon residing in New York. Animator ShamusCulhane however later recalled how impulsive Max was with his decision, as there was cheap enough studio space throughout Manhattan that could be enough to produce an animated feature. Paramount, wanting to duplicate ''Snow White'', became increasingly cooperative to Max's demands to not only raise budgets but help them relocate to Miami in 1938. Their was a contract that Max not only borrowed a loan from Paramount to pay for the Miami Facilities but they reached an agreement that the loan be paid back by 1948 with interest, and previous studio properties be used as collateral, by getting into such debt made it easy for Paramount to acquire the studio four years later in 1942. Miami was a doomed venture from the start not just from a financial perspective, but concerning Max abandoning the talent pool in New York. A good percentage of the studios musical department also refused to move; as a result the compositions for many Miami Productions waned. The other issue was that the advantages were minimal, the working environment in Miami was much more comfortable than the crammed office space in 1600 Broadway, as a result many artists that were employed at the Miami facility have fond memories of working there, not aware of the tension between Max, Dave, and Paramount. Taxes were lower so that extra cash flow could be used to charge higher salaries than Disney's, however they were still unable to recruit all the best talent the west had to offer. Also to meet the short deadline of trying to get Gulliver released by Christmas of 1939 (production beginning May 1938), meant for Max to over-populate the studio with over 750 employees, a size far larger than the Miami studio was meant to contain. Many of these staffers were Miami Art School students, with minimal resources and a less than stellar artistic background many of these novices didn't have the same advantages that the west coast recruits had and proved to be a hindrance to production. Also many of the West Coast recruits, namely Cal Howard, a former Warner's employee, recommended completely revamping the entire production of Gulliver, Max's initial vision was to make it a Popeye vehicle, but Cal's charisma and manipulative personality made them go a direction that would make it seem they were trying to emulate Disney. Much of ''Gulliver'''s banality and constant need to hold up to Disney's standards was much of Paramount's management's and Cal Howard's doing. Max himself actually was apathetic to trying to be like Disney; he even downplayed Disney's merits by claiming that ''Gulliver'' would not have any scary or intimidating scenes such as Snow White fleeing from the huntsman throughout the forest, in order to promote it as a clean family picture, just not wanting to acknowledge Disney's triumph. Their were other feature proposals as well -- Paramount suggested ''Peter Pan'', ''Blue Bird'', and a film dedicated to the [[Literature/TheBible Nativity Scene]] were also tossed around. None of these came to fruition, but concept art still survives. The rivalry between Max and Dave was already brewing prior to Miami. Dave was always lamenting about him and his brothers living in Max's shadow as Max received the majority of publicity, while Dave and his brothers constantly reminded him that the studios accomplishments were a collaborative effort between him and his brothers and not exclusive to just him. Max was willing to abandon Popeye as well considering that when the King Features contract expires in 1942 they were obligated to dispose of the Popeye Negatives. Max was interested in abandoning Popeye sooner than this, and proceeded to take the studio down the path of producing more dramatic films, however he was quite vague about what he wanted and his brothers specifically Dave were livid at the constant effort and sacrifice they made for Popeye and for him to just abruptly want to end its production when it was lucrative made Dave frustrated. The other issue was that Dave wanted to compose the score for ''Gulliver's Travels''. He had some extensive experience writing compositions for Screen Songs, although he never had the expertise that Lou Fleischer had in the musical department. Max was skeptical and brought this up with Paramount's management who decided to ignore Dave's proposal and hire a professional songwriting team. Dave livid attitude was further cemented against Max, when their were rumors of him having an affair with a secretary, which he wasn't. Though Dave's wife was so paranoid that he told Essie Max's wife about it, and Essie demanded that Max confront Dave, Dave sick of these rumors caved in and decided to retaliate by actually having an affair with the secretary to spite the people that were paranoid. This made Dave take extended leave and head back to New York with the secretary for a good amount of 1940. Without Dave supervising the films Cal Howard was left to manage the studio creatively and things went south fast. Max's contempt for Dave was not only his moral shortcomings concerning his marriage, but also his tendency to exert complete creative control following their relocation. Dave force Max away from any creative consulting within the studio and forced him to business administrative end of the studio. Max knowing the sacrifices and effort he put into this studio and feeling irrelevant was compelled to send Paramount a telegram voicing his frustrations. The telegram, along with them being in debt with Paramount following the loan they borrowed to pay for the studio allowed them to begin buying out the studio by 1940. Much of the motivation to acquire the bother's company was so they could split the profits for Popeye with King Features two-ways instead of three. Though also renew the contract for Popeye so that by 1942 the negatives and any traces of the series would survive and they could continue to exploit how commercially successful the series was. To ensure that Paramount managed to buy out the studio, they forced Max and Dave to sign a contract which had them cooperate with resigning from their own studio when Paramount asked for them to do so, and have Paramount take over management. The contract was signed May 24th 1941 and Max caved in because he was blackmailed by Paramount to do so or they might lay off Seymour Kneitel who was his son-in-law and creative head of the studio and the stress may lead to another heart attack after Seymour was recovering from his first. Max and Dave were now salaried employees and the rights to their name were owned by Paramount. The contract did however promise they would receive royalty checks and their names in the credits for any television airings of their work, this broken promise lead to the lawsuit Max would conduct against Paramount in 1956. As Paramount began to exert more control, they dove into production for Mr.Bug which was the first American Animated Feature not to be based on a previously written book or literature. Mr.Bug is a profound improvement over Gulliver, much of this is not only because they recruit more proficient artists, but also because many of the hard lessons learned in Gulliver prepared them to produce something that is very dexterously animated. The films budget was also considerably lower than Gulliver's and deadlines were shorter and were less flexible that it makes in interesting to know how much more successfully produced this film is. Superman was also being bought into production around the time of Paramount's takeover, Paramount had successfully bid for the rights of the character and convinced Dave Fleischer to produce it. Reluctant and skeptical because they had little experience in the science fiction genre Dave tried to pressure Paramount out of it by demanding 100,000 per cartoon budget. Paramount responded by offering half the amount and at 50,000 still was considerably higher than the average Fleischer short subject. The series relied heavily on the rotoscope however had effective narratives, proficient use of F/X, and more sophisticated designs in comparison to previous series. The series was one of the most pervasive in the renaissance of animation fifty years later, in the early nineties especially providing influence for Bruce Timm and all the animated science fiction adventure programs that subsequently followed. Max trying to exert any kind of creative control sent a memo to Dave who was directing the film on what parts of the narrative could be improved. Dave replied by denying that there were any problems with the film. Dave once again proposed his involvement with composing the film, and as usual was rejected and replaced by a professional songwriting team. Dave's total alienation with his brothers along with his apathy for the work he produced compelled him to leave Fleischer Studios following Mr. Bug's completion to replace Frank Tashlin as head of Screen Gems in 1942 which was Columbia's cartoon department. Mr. Bug opened the week of Pearl Harbor on December of 1941 however regardless of the event, Mr. Bug was doomed because of Paramount's reluctance to promote the film and give it the publicity it needed, so in addition to Pearl Harbor Paramount themselves were apathetic to the film and giving it the necessary promotion it deserved. Paramount however was actually willing to return Max's shares for the studio, however Dave's moonlighting made Paramount convinced that the studio should be a subsidiary without Max's involvement and the studio was re-organized as Famous in the summer of 1942. Dan Gordon, and Izzy Sparber survived the massive layoff Paramounts have after they began to clean house following Max and Dave resigning from the studio. Seymour Kneitel was creatively put in charge to intimidate Max not to sue Paramount after being ousted from his own studio. After Dave Flesicher's tenure at Screen Gem's he gravitated over to Universal where WalterLantz was largely responsible for his employment. Dave directed commercials and helped solve technical errors throughout many of the studios features. His life long ambition was to produce a third feature entitled Pandora's Odyssey which failed to come to fruition however the concept did appear in Variety Magazine. After Max tried to unsuccessful raise the money to have a new studio at his estate in Miami, trying to recruit his other brothers who were less hostile than Dave, Max was visited by Jam Handy who wanted to know the status of the situation. Jam benevolently offered him employment at his Detroit facilities and Max Fleischer was recruited by this former Bray associate to act as a supervisor for many of the studios productions. This included the original animated adaptation of Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer in 1948. He also continued to patent countless inventions, following Paramount acquiring the rights to his previous patents, which although were not directly associated with Fleischer Studios they were still taken from Paramount, because of loopholes in the contracts he signed with them. Max also made a semi-auto biography entitled Noah's Shoes in 1944 which made reference to his association with Paramount and Dave and how they played a role in ousting him from the company he spent years building. Max used several different tropes to discuss his contempt for Paramount's management and Dave using Noah's Arc metaphors. Max than briefly re-associated himself with John Randolph Bray in 1953, the two hadn't professionally worked with one another since Max departed his studio in 1921, the creative partnership lasted three years but nothing seemed to have come out of it. Max decided to sue Paramount in 1956 after he discovered that Paramount broke their promise for Max to receive royalties for his cartoons television airings but also replaced his name in the credits with Paramount head Adolph Zukor. Stan Handman represented Max, not to long after Dave Fleischer commenced a lawsuit against Paramount trying to argue how Max conspired with Paramount to get Dave out of the picture. Max continued to actively produce documentaries, and educational films, and also resurfaced in Hal Segar's 1959 adaptation of Out of the Inkwell for which he was appalled by the low budgets and visibly poor quality that couldn't hold a candle to what was produced thirty years earlier. After spending years of trying to resurface in the public eye, Max retired at The Motion Picture Country House in 1967. Although the rift with his brother Dave was never resolved, Max eventually formed a friendship with his old rival Walt Disney, who welcomed Max to a reunion with former Fleischer animators who were by then employed by Disney. Max died of congestive heart failure on September 11, 1972, sadly never completing what was to be his greatest invention-a ''Perpetual Motion Clock.'' Dave Fleischer would go on to work as a special effects expert at Universal after his work at Columbia Pictures ended with the shutdown of its animation department, and would retire in the late 60's, and he finally died of a stroke on June 25, 1979. [[/folder]] While the Fleischer brothers and their star characters have long since passed, their influence in the medium of entertainment must not be underestimated. Besides the aforementioned examples of Miyazaki and DCAU, the Fleischers, along with Disney were a heavy influence on anime legend OsamuTezuka, whom would take many of the Fleischer's techniques (and their limited animation) and integrate it into his own style in his manga and anime like ''Anime/AstroBoy'' and Kimba the Lion-stuff which would go on to make the anime industry into what it is today. Animation legend BobClampett of WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes fame also seemed to take a lot of inspiration from the Fleischers, taking many a queue from them by making his cartoons as wacky and surreal as possible, as well as intergrating music in a very similar way Fleischer did into his cartoons. RenAndStimpy creator JohnKricfalusi also cites the Fleischer brothers as a major influence in his works. ---- !!Works of the Fleischer Brothers (in as close to chronological release order as possible) include: * [[OutOfTheInkwell Koko the Clown]]: The original star of the Fleischers, starring in the [[RogerRabbitEffect Live Action/Animation]] blending ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series. He lasted well into the sound era, occasionally co-starring in shorts with Betty Boop. * ''{{Talkartoons}}'': A series of sound cartoons made by the studio, starring recurring character Bimbo the Dog. This series eventually morphed into the Betty Boop series. * ''ScreenSongs'': A series of sound cartoons centered around loose plots, serving as the music videos of their day, featuring Max's [[FollowTheBouncingBall famous bouncing ball]] sing-a-longs. This series would later be revived by FamousStudios. * WesternAnimation/BettyBoop: The most famous character created by the Fleischer studio, Betty initially appeared as a bit-player in ''Talkartoons'', but slowly gained popularity, to where she claimed her own series and became the flagship character of the Fleischer studio. * {{Popeye}}: While the Fleischer brothers didn't create the character (''Popeye'' was a popular newspaper comic at the time) they helped mold and immortalize the character into what he's recognized as today. Popeye is also the most successful brand of shorts the Fleischers ever produced, even surpassing Betty Boop in popularity during his prime. ** ''PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor''. ** ''PopeyeTheSailorMeetsAliBabasFortyThieves''. * ''ColorClassics'': A series of ''SillySymphonies'' clones made by the Fleischers, due to pressure from Paramount themselves. * ''WesternAnimation/GulliversTravels'': The 1939 feature length film adaptation made to ride off the success of Disney's ''Snow White''. ** This movie also spawned a very short lived series of short subjects starring Gabby, the town crier in the film. * ''Animated Antics'': A series of cartoon shorts largely themed around one-shot gag stories, but four of them feature appearances of characters from ''Gulliver's Travels''. * ''Stone Age'': A 12 short series of caveman themed cartoons. * ''Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy'': A two-reeler about two sentient dolls (not to be confused with the feature-length [[RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure film about the same characters]] made by RichardWilliams over three decades later) * ''SupermanTheatricalCartoons'': The first nine shorts, at any rate (the other eight were handled by their "successor" outfit, Famous Studios) * ''MrBugGoesToTown'': The second film made by the Fleischers, and (indirectly) part of what ultimately brought the studio to its demise. * ''The Raven'': An extremely loose two-reeler adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's classic poem. ---- !!Tropes that are present in the studio's work: * AnAesop: In particular, the Betty Boop and Popeye shorts often have the characters sing the Aesop. A common one is kindness to animals, which turns up in the Betty Boop short "Be Human", the Popeye shorts "Be Kind To Animals" and "Bulldozing The Bulls", the Color Classic "Song Of The Birds", and the Animated Antics short "Bring Himself Back Alive". [[AesopAmnesia Not that this stops Grampy or Popeye from hurting animals in some other shorts]]. * AnimatedMusicVideo: The TropeMaker is Screen Songs. * CaptainErsatz: The dog and hunter in the Animated Antics short "Zero the Hound" features a startling resemblance to Egghead and his dog from the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes short "Hare-Um Scare-Um". This may be because their designer, Charles Thorson, was working at the Fleischer studio during the time that short was made. * DerangedAnimation: This studio more than perhaps any other is ''famous'' for it. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b8isnhYMjg Swing, you Sinners!]] is a good place to start. * DisproportionateRetribution: In "Swing, You Sinners!", Bimbo gets haunted, harassed, chased, terrified and [[spoiler:eaten]] by spooks of all sorts, all because he tried to steal a chicken. Even after he promised never to steal again! * FollowTheBouncingBall: TropeNamer and TropeMaker. * HeAlsoDid: Dave Fleischer also did [[http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/lets-all-go-to-the-lobby-trailer-canon-royalty-free-clips/3e1d2ddd5f9795b81ae53e1d2ddd5f9795b81ae5-699545748871?q=youtube+lets+all+go+to+the+lobby&FORM=VIRE2 this iconic Theater Snipe.]] * InkblotCartoonStyle * MickeyMousing * MusicalEpisode: A few shorts featured jazz hits of the day from the likes of CabCalloway and LouisArmstrong. * NoEnding: Some of the shorts follow this, such as "Swing, you Sinners!". It ends with [[spoiler:a giant scat-singing frog. Floaty heads. A skull eating Bimbo.]] * PantyShot: Betty Boop. * {{Rotoscoping}}: Done WELL. Not terribly shocking considering the Fleischers ''invented'' the technique in the first place. * RubberHoseLimbs * SceneryPorn: Especially in the double-reel ''Popeye'' cartoons. * SpaceWhaleAesop: In "Swing You Sinners": Don't steal chickens, or an army of swingin' ghosts will come along and spirit you away. And then you'll be sent to an AcidTripDimension where you'll be eaten by a giant shrieking skull.
to:
[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2nd_Boop_from_Rich_4880.jpg]] [[caption-width-right:300:Max Fleischer, pictured here with WesternAnimation/BettyBoop.]] -->''Both Fleischer and {{Creator/Disney}} had a great deal of respect for each other. The older man had pioneered many of the early innovations in the medium. The younger man, {{Disney}}, had wanted to be another Fleischer.'' -->--Howard Beckerman '''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. They were also a top of the line animation studio in the 1930's and early 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'', the ''{{ComicStrip/Popeye}} The Sailor'' cartoons, and eventually the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons''. [[folder: History of the Fleischers]] Max was born July 19, 1883, to William Fleischer, a moderately successful Austrian tailor who was second of six children, the oldest being Charles and the the younger siblings being Lou, Joe, Dave, and Ethel. Max and Charlie headed for America in 1887, the year prior in 1886 his father had entered New York and set up his own personal business, using a stuffed horse in the display window to attract a variety of customers. After moving from Austria, Max and Charlie were enthusiastic about their new way of life. The brothers performed many dangerous tricks and stunts with their newly purchased bicycles to woo the girls throughout Brooklyn. Max's stunts managed to attract a young Essie Goldstein. The Goldstein's immigrated from England where they had operated a music hall, but had no success with. The Goldstein's moved to America where the Immigration officers gave Essie's parents a new last name because of the difficulty of understanding their language. After Max graduated from high school, he managed to receive apprenticeship for commercial art at Cooper Union, and also, as a fallback career, attended The Mechanics and Trademans School. Max wed Essie Goldstein in 1905, and subsequently had Ruth Fleischer in 1905. Max began his commercial art career at the ''Brooklyn Daily Eagle'' following an encounter with the supervisor there. Max was offered two bucks an hour just to study the artists. Realizing talent when he spotted it, he offered to give Max that salary for running errands; eventually working his way up the career ladder and personally creating his own comic strips, such as ''E.K. Spoosher'' and ''The Kodak Fiend''. Many of the central themes of these strips were rebelling against higher levels of authority, and much of his work was topical, socially conscious and focused on the poverty conditions in areas such as [[NewYorkCity Brownsville Brooklyn]]. Much of his experience in New York cartooning circles had a profound influence as to how he approached animation decades later as a medium; that it was an outgrowth of newspaper cartoons. During his tenure at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, he came into contact with artist [[BrayStudios J.R. Bray]], who specialized in decorating the panels for many of the artists strips. While the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided him with the necessary tools to become a proficient artist, it provided very little money. As a result, Max accepted a job as an illustrator for a fashion catalog in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be subsequently hired at ''Popular Science Monthly'' by Waldemar Kempft, returning to New York City in 1912. Max also couldn't help but acknowledge the budding art form which was animation; which was slowly on the rise in New York in the early 1910's following the success of Creator/WinsorMcCay's initial films, such as ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/GertieTheDinosaur''. He became an avid follower of animation and read many technical articles; at the same time hhe put thought and consideration into trying to correct many of the technical shortcomings that plagued early animated films. Max was determined to provide a solution, particularly once Waldemar Kempft encouraged him to devise a solution following Waldemar's personal experience watching a TheodoreRoosevelt animated cartoon; appalled at the quality, he lamented about it to Max. Waldemar, recognizing his diverse understanding of commercial art, photography, and machinery, encouraged Max to dedicate time to improving the quality of animated films. This was the genesis to the [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscope.]] Max used the film camera that he had previously used in a failed business venture that was funded by his brother-in-law, to try to open an outdoor movie theater to compete against the other theater chains. The hot summer weather, not to mention mosquitoes and heavy rain made it difficult to effectively run the business. Although it was a commercial disaster, they kept the camera that would soon would be used for the original rotoscope. Max's first experiment was with his brother, Dave, in a boyscout outfit waving flag signals; this took eight months to produce between 1914 - 1915. Although most historical records credit the initial rotoscope experiment as Dave dressed as a clown, the [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/US_patent_1242674_figure_3.png patent filed in 1915]] clearly shows that Max had already extensively experimented with the rotoscope using other concepts before ever considering rotoscoping with a clown. Once finished, Max showed this experiment to ''Pathe'', using Dave's connections as a film cutter to schedule an appointment with the management. While impressed, they rejected his proposal because it was simply impractical to produce films in such a lengthy period of time. Max managed to cut down production and quickly returned with a rotoscope test of Creator/CharlieChaplin; Pathe, fearing a lawsuit, rejected Max but realizing his potential assigned him and his brothers to produce a short subject on TheodoreRoosevelt using the device. The resulting short was a disaster, and a livid Pathe threw them out. Fortunately, Max was not discouraged and this time performed a third rotoscope experiment, this time using Dave's clown costume from Coney Island. Max was constantly looking for people to distribute his work, with every studio rejecting him; Paramount's offices was his last stop and in all liklihood they were probably going to overlook him as well. However, J.R. Bray was re-negotiating his new contract with Paramount and was willing to watch Max's film reel; this was in many cases because of the friendship they had forged while they worked together at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Bray eagerly accepted Max's film, and determined that they would produce a new entry monthly. However to ensure that they could complete the film on time to satisfy the audiences, they manage to cut production times by [[RogerRabbitEffect making 3/4 of each film live-action.]] So contrary to many historical accounts, the option to make ''OutOfTheInkwell'' partially live-action was pragmatic; to cut down on production times so they could release these films more frequently, and make the series commercially practical. Production for Inkwell began in 1916, around the same time that Max had his second child, eventual film director Richard Fleischer. Production barely started when Max found himself drafted into the army, halting production for a couple of years, working at Fort Sill Oklahoma while producing training films for the Military. Once ''Out of the Inkwell'' began its monthly releases in April of 1919, the series quickly became a critical and audience hit, and ''Inkwell'' just as soon as it began found itself as Bray's biggest breadwinner. Later in 1919, Bray switched distribution from Paramount to Goldwyn. Goldwyn had Bray commit to 156 films annually, realizing this kind of output was not only commercially impractical but impossible, Bray as anyone would came up short on his promise and the studio began to lose its dominance within the industry. Max, realizing that his property was the only thing keeping the company afloat, was compelled to leave following this. Dave Fleischer recently won big at the horse races and used the money to provide start up funds for the ''Inkwell'' films initiated in June, 1921. Bray, desperate to duplicate his success with Out of the Inkwell, enlisted former Hearst employee WalterLantz to produce ''DinkyDoodle''. Max began recruiting a crew of animators; names such as Art Davis, Burt Gillett, David Hand (the former becoming a top disney director in the 30's, the latter who would be the second highest authority at the Disney studio) all worked at Max's studio during the twenties. However, the studio truly prospered when they recruited former Barre animator and lead creative force on the ''Mutt and Jeff'' animated series Dick Huemer worked on in 1923. Dick Huemer's knack for surreal, unconventional brand of humor is what made Out of the Inkwell some of the most unique animated entries of the 1920's. Huemer's draftsmanship was also widely regarded in the industry, to the point that Max believed that he shouldn't wear out his best artists and allow his assistants to draw the in between frames, while Huemer only handled the key poses. Thus one of the most effective production methods, the "in-betweening" system was created because Max was concerned about Huemer performing all the tasks by himself. Huemer was initially cautious about this proposal that Max made but learned to adapt to it. Out of the Inkwell became the second most lucrative series in animation during the twenties only trailing behind Pat Sullivan's ''FelixTheCat''. Although Inkwell was initially distributed by M.J. Winkler who also handled Felix, and newcomer Walt Disney's ''AliceComedies'', Max decided to associate himself with another distribution company buying shares from this company entitled Red Seal films. Red Seal was a company that was not exclusively tied to animation but specialized in almost every genre of film. ''Essie of The Chorus'', a live action short-subject series had Ruth Flesicher as co-star, and eventual WizardOfOz castmember Ray Bolger made his motion picture debut in this series. ''Inklings'' was Dave trying to strike out on his own, sick of living in Max's shadow; much of that frustration planted the seeds for the eventual adversarial relationship the two would have later on. Unfortunately only one of the Inklings, No.12, survives but shows great promise and how inventive Dave Fleischer could be. The most crucial role Red Seal played in its brief history was that Max managed to use Red Seal to come into contact with Lee De Forrest who recognized Max's engineering background and believed it could be of use to conduct some synchronized sound experiments with his cartoons. As a result, ''Song Cartunes'' featured some of the earliest synchronized sound cartoons beginning in 1926, this is a two year advantage over Paul Terry's ''Dinnertime'', and Walt Disney's ''SteamboatWillie.'' Unfortunately, Red Seal was not a commercially successful venture, and the studio found itself in bankruptcy in the summer of 1927. This came right around the period that Max pioneered animated lip-synch in Song Cartunes final entry ''By The Light of the Silvery Moon''. Max losing much of his finances in the venture couldn't pay back the film labs to receive his negatives for upcoming films, so Alfred Weiss paid the films labs to return the negatives and took over management making Max and Dave salaried employees instead of leaders of their own company. Alfred Weiss brought Max into contact with Paramount who would distribute Max's work until his company was acquired by them in June of 1942. The film series was re-titled ''Inkwell Imps'', and would continue to be released until 1929 when the company folded. Alfred Weiss resurrected ''Song Cartunes'' briefly in 1928 where ''My Old Kentucky Home'' was produced [[hottip:*: it is largely mistaken as the Fleischer's cartoon when in actuality it was an entry under Weiss.]] The tension between Max Fleischer and Alfred Weiss made him absent from Out of the Inkwells final films, Inkwells last entries have a series of Weiss employees trying to emulate Max's role as the master cartoonist. Max, after leaving Weiss, managed to re-organize Out of The Inkwell films in 1929 as ''Fleischer Studios'' which is what the company is better known by, Max's friend Frank Goldstein provided studio space in Long Island City free-of-charge as Max began to rebuild the company from scratch and resurrected his Song Cartune series as ''ScreenSongs'' which were very cheap to produce. Max re-associated with Paramount and exploited the fact that him and his staff had added experience with sound animation in comparison to the rest of their competitors, which is a large reason why Paramount decided to distribute them. Screen Songs began in January of 1929, Max decided to expand on his experience with Lip Synch by dedicating {{Talkartoons}} exclusively to that purpose which began with ''Noah's Lark'' in October of 1929. Talkartoons had no central character, like many Flesicher productions the shorts were based on successful gag structure and the characters actions [[MickeyMousing timed to the musical track.]] After several one-shots they would eventually settle on Bimbo, a cigar wielding, sarcastic, chauvinist personality whose design was based on Mickey Mouse's. Much of what Bimbo actually was, was a [[ExPy redesign]] of Fitz from Out of the Inkwell; at least GrimNatwick's personal interpretation of the character. After Huemer accepted a job at Mintz producing the ''Scrappy'' shorts, Natwick became the driving force for Fleischer Studios. Once more Paramount was anxious to promote one its headlining stars Helen Kane and used Talkartoons as a tool to help promote her likeness. Natwick was in charge of conceiving this character as Bimbo's love interest, this character eventually evolved into Betty Boop. She first made a cameo appearance in ''Dizzy Dishes'' and eventually went through several redesigns, much of her development as a personality took place following Grim's departure to the UbIwerks studio. Betty Boop abruptly took over the series and became one of the largest box-office draws of the early 1930's. Talkartoons was converted to Betty Boop by 1932, Bimbo being [[DemotedToExtra demoted to little more than a sidekick]] and Ko-Ko the Clown occasionally being brought out of retirement. Max however had a tendency to downplay Betty's potential; many staff proposed trying to have the character have her own line of merchandise and licensee her to others. Max reminded them that we are exclusively invested in one business, undermining the commercial potential of his own properties is one of many major flaws that questioned Max's business abilities. However as the HaysCode came to provide strict guidelines about what was and wasn't prohibited throughout Hollywood, Betty found herself reinvented. Much of this was not just motivated by the code itself, much of the option to clean up her public image somewhat had to do with the Hays Code but also Paramount's management under the leadership of Barney Balbian decided it was time to reinvent themselves and their image. Paramount went through several bankruptcies and financial re-organizations between 1931 - 1936, they became more budget conscious and with this change of heart they began to play it economically safe by emulating those that had a guaranteed audience such as Disney and MGM but with a fraction of the budget, these attitudes were applied to the direction Fleischer found themselves going from 1934 onward. With less flexible deadlines to meet, and being committed to producing a film a week made it difficult for them to dedicate time to improving their product and their quality began to stagnate from 1934 up until the end of the decade. So many of the advancements that the west coasts found themselves making were not taking place within Fleischer's company, because their picture commitments made it difficult to dedicate time to improving their product. Another issue was concerning Paramount's re-organizations was that Max proposed interest in converting his films to the Three Strip Technicolor process. Paramount, still going through financial re-organization and bankruptcies, rejected anything that was so commercially risky. Max made similar proposals for an animated features as early as 1934 but because of Paramount's skepticism of it being commercial practical, he found himself waiting until Walt Disney proved its commercial practicality with ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' in late 1937. Also despite Betty's popularity, Helen Kane feeling that her career had gone downhill, sued Max for 250,000 dollars in May of 1932, feeling as if she was misrepresented in the Betty Boop cartoons. The trail went on for two years, Kane lamenting about how she owned the rights to the line "Boop Boop a Doop". The primary evidence that had the judge rule against her was that Baby Esther, a somewhat obscure singer, had been using that line prior to Helen Kane, which made Kane's claims seem irrelevant. Regardless, the Betty Boop series would soon find itself outclassed by the Fleischers newcoming star PopeyeTheSailor. Max Fleischer was an avid fan of E.C. Segar's popular comic strip; however King Features Syndicate was skeptical about the Sailors commercial potential. Max convinced them that his grotesque features would make him a successful box-office draw because it helps maintain more comedic appeal. The contract signed in 1932 had listed that they should have all their negatives and traces of the series burned or disposed of within a ten year period, because of their constant skepticism concerning the series merits. The contracts expiration coincides with Paramount's acquisition of Fleischer in 1942 and this played a role in why Paramount bought out the studio when they were in debt with them. Popeye was tested by appearing in a Betty Boop short ([[PoorlyDisguisedPilot although Betty herself only makes a brief appearance]]) before maintaining his own series, because as stated before King Features faith in Popeye was so minimal, that they demanded the negatives to be burned by 1942, in addition that he be paired up with someone who was already a commercial success. Popeye within a couple of years not only exceeded Betty but dethroned Mickey Mouse and made him become irrelevant for the rest of the decade. Popeye was the top box-office draw in animation during the thirties. The mid-thirties proved to be commercially prosperous but also artistically stagnant, as stated earlier their picture commitments, short production periods gave them little time to improve the quality of their work. Despite this they pioneered the precursor to the Multi-Plane which was the Stereoptical Process, aka the Three-Dimensional Setback. This complex device, which used large model sets built out of paper mache and lighting tools, was patented in 1933 but not used until 1934 for Betty Boop's ''Poor Cinderella''. This short was also Max's first foray into color production, in a series called ''ColorClassics'' that would exclusively be dedicated to color production, with Max using Cinecolor instead of Three-Strip which was exclusively controlled by Walt Disney until 1936. The Stereoptical Camera, while technically impressive and successful creating a convincing illusion of depth, was very difficult to control and maintain, and all of the sets were quickly disposed once the film was completed. Max as usual undermined his companies accomplishments and failed to see the intense admiration these sets would receive from cartoon aficionados and historians. Feeling comfortable enough to test Popeye elsewhere Paramount granted Max to produce two-reelers starring the one-eyed sailor. PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor and PopeyeMeetsAliBaba, produced in 1936 and 1937 respectively, were the first time an American animated film had extended beyond one-reel. Although animated features were already pioneered in Argentina, and Germany this was a first for America. The two-reeler's however were downplayed following Walt's triumph with ''Snow White'', after Max had badgered Paramount to produce an animated feature for over three years, they finally caved in. Max however didn't want to continue producing within New York and was anxious to relocate, visibly distressed by his employees unionizing in 1937. Much of this was because of the oppressive working conditions. A lot of this was Paramount's doing as stated earlier with the management change and Barney Balbian's leadership. Not only did they give short deadlines to meet, committing to several different series at once, and oppressive working conditions made it difficult to dedicate time to improving the product. It also added considerably to the working conditions of the staff, who lamented about this through unionization. So a lot of employees that may have had a pre-existing relationship with Max now found themselves on opposite ends and physically confronting some of his close friends who had trouble getting in and out of the studio because of the picketing outside. Max was alienated by New York. He and Dave, by the mid-thirties were dedicating a fraction of the year to going to Miami where they owned vacation homes and just wanted to completely abandon residing in New York. Animator ShamusCulhane however later recalled how impulsive Max was with his decision, as there was cheap enough studio space throughout Manhattan that could be enough to produce an animated feature. Paramount, wanting to duplicate ''Snow White'', became increasingly cooperative to Max's demands to not only raise budgets but help them relocate to Miami in 1938. Their was a contract that Max not only borrowed a loan from Paramount to pay for the Miami Facilities but they reached an agreement that the loan be paid back by 1948 with interest, and previous studio properties be used as collateral, by getting into such debt made it easy for Paramount to acquire the studio four years later in 1942. Miami was a doomed venture from the start not just from a financial perspective, but concerning Max abandoning the talent pool in New York. A good percentage of the studios musical department also refused to move; as a result the compositions for many Miami Productions waned. The other issue was that the advantages were minimal, the working environment in Miami was much more comfortable than the crammed office space in 1600 Broadway, as a result many artists that were employed at the Miami facility have fond memories of working there, not aware of the tension between Max, Dave, and Paramount. Taxes were lower so that extra cash flow could be used to charge higher salaries than Disney's, however they were still unable to recruit all the best talent the west had to offer. Also to meet the short deadline of trying to get Gulliver released by Christmas of 1939 (production beginning May 1938), meant for Max to over-populate the studio with over 750 employees, a size far larger than the Miami studio was meant to contain. Many of these staffers were Miami Art School students, with minimal resources and a less than stellar artistic background many of these novices didn't have the same advantages that the west coast recruits had and proved to be a hindrance to production. Also many of the West Coast recruits, namely Cal Howard, a former Warner's employee, recommended completely revamping the entire production of Gulliver, Max's initial vision was to make it a Popeye vehicle, but Cal's charisma and manipulative personality made them go a direction that would make it seem they were trying to emulate Disney. Much of ''Gulliver'''s banality and constant need to hold up to Disney's standards was much of Paramount's management's and Cal Howard's doing. Max himself actually was apathetic to trying to be like Disney; he even downplayed Disney's merits by claiming that ''Gulliver'' would not have any scary or intimidating scenes such as Snow White fleeing from the huntsman throughout the forest, in order to promote it as a clean family picture, just not wanting to acknowledge Disney's triumph. Their were other feature proposals as well -- Paramount suggested ''Peter Pan'', ''Blue Bird'', and a film dedicated to the [[Literature/TheBible Nativity Scene]] were also tossed around. None of these came to fruition, but concept art still survives. The rivalry between Max and Dave was already brewing prior to Miami. Dave was always lamenting about him and his brothers living in Max's shadow as Max received the majority of publicity, while Dave and his brothers constantly reminded him that the studios accomplishments were a collaborative effort between him and his brothers and not exclusive to just him. Max was willing to abandon Popeye as well considering that when the King Features contract expires in 1942 they were obligated to dispose of the Popeye Negatives. Max was interested in abandoning Popeye sooner than this, and proceeded to take the studio down the path of producing more dramatic films, however he was quite vague about what he wanted and his brothers specifically Dave were livid at the constant effort and sacrifice they made for Popeye and for him to just abruptly want to end its production when it was lucrative made Dave frustrated. The other issue was that Dave wanted to compose the score for ''Gulliver's Travels''. He had some extensive experience writing compositions for Screen Songs, although he never had the expertise that Lou Fleischer had in the musical department. Max was skeptical and brought this up with Paramount's management who decided to ignore Dave's proposal and hire a professional songwriting team. Dave livid attitude was further cemented against Max, when their were rumors of him having an affair with a secretary, which he wasn't. Though Dave's wife was so paranoid that he told Essie Max's wife about it, and Essie demanded that Max confront Dave, Dave sick of these rumors caved in and decided to retaliate by actually having an affair with the secretary to spite the people that were paranoid. This made Dave take extended leave and head back to New York with the secretary for a good amount of 1940. Without Dave supervising the films Cal Howard was left to manage the studio creatively and things went south fast. Max's contempt for Dave was not only his moral shortcomings concerning his marriage, but also his tendency to exert complete creative control following their relocation. Dave force Max away from any creative consulting within the studio and forced him to business administrative end of the studio. Max knowing the sacrifices and effort he put into this studio and feeling irrelevant was compelled to send Paramount a telegram voicing his frustrations. The telegram, along with them being in debt with Paramount following the loan they borrowed to pay for the studio allowed them to begin buying out the studio by 1940. Much of the motivation to acquire the bother's company was so they could split the profits for Popeye with King Features two-ways instead of three. Though also renew the contract for Popeye so that by 1942 the negatives and any traces of the series would survive and they could continue to exploit how commercially successful the series was. To ensure that Paramount managed to buy out the studio, they forced Max and Dave to sign a contract which had them cooperate with resigning from their own studio when Paramount asked for them to do so, and have Paramount take over management. The contract was signed May 24th 1941 and Max caved in because he was blackmailed by Paramount to do so or they might lay off Seymour Kneitel who was his son-in-law and creative head of the studio and the stress may lead to another heart attack after Seymour was recovering from his first. Max and Dave were now salaried employees and the rights to their name were owned by Paramount. The contract did however promise they would receive royalty checks and their names in the credits for any television airings of their work, this broken promise lead to the lawsuit Max would conduct against Paramount in 1956. As Paramount began to exert more control, they dove into production for Mr.Bug which was the first American Animated Feature not to be based on a previously written book or literature. Mr.Bug is a profound improvement over Gulliver, much of this is not only because they recruit more proficient artists, but also because many of the hard lessons learned in Gulliver prepared them to produce something that is very dexterously animated. The films budget was also considerably lower than Gulliver's and deadlines were shorter and were less flexible that it makes in interesting to know how much more successfully produced this film is. Superman was also being bought into production around the time of Paramount's takeover, Paramount had successfully bid for the rights of the character and convinced Dave Fleischer to produce it. Reluctant and skeptical because they had little experience in the science fiction genre Dave tried to pressure Paramount out of it by demanding 100,000 per cartoon budget. Paramount responded by offering half the amount and at 50,000 still was considerably higher than the average Fleischer short subject. The series relied heavily on the rotoscope however had effective narratives, proficient use of F/X, and more sophisticated designs in comparison to previous series. The series was one of the most pervasive in the renaissance of animation fifty years later, in the early nineties especially providing influence for Bruce Timm and all the animated science fiction adventure programs that subsequently followed. Max trying to exert any kind of creative control sent a memo to Dave who was directing the film on what parts of the narrative could be improved. Dave replied by denying that there were any problems with the film. Dave once again proposed his involvement with composing the film, and as usual was rejected and replaced by a professional songwriting team. Dave's total alienation with his brothers along with his apathy for the work he produced compelled him to leave Fleischer Studios following Mr. Bug's completion to replace Frank Tashlin as head of Screen Gems in 1942 which was Columbia's cartoon department. Mr. Bug opened the week of Pearl Harbor on December of 1941 however regardless of the event, Mr. Bug was doomed because of Paramount's reluctance to promote the film and give it the publicity it needed, so in addition to Pearl Harbor Paramount themselves were apathetic to the film and giving it the necessary promotion it deserved. Paramount however was actually willing to return Max's shares for the studio, however Dave's moonlighting made Paramount convinced that the studio should be a subsidiary without Max's involvement and the studio was re-organized as Famous in the summer of 1942. Dan Gordon, and Izzy Sparber survived the massive layoff Paramounts have after they began to clean house following Max and Dave resigning from the studio. Seymour Kneitel was creatively put in charge to intimidate Max not to sue Paramount after being ousted from his own studio. After Dave Flesicher's tenure at Screen Gem's he gravitated over to Universal where WalterLantz was largely responsible for his employment. Dave directed commercials and helped solve technical errors throughout many of the studios features. His life long ambition was to produce a third feature entitled Pandora's Odyssey which failed to come to fruition however the concept did appear in Variety Magazine. After Max tried to unsuccessful raise the money to have a new studio at his estate in Miami, trying to recruit his other brothers who were less hostile than Dave, Max was visited by Jam Handy who wanted to know the status of the situation. Jam benevolently offered him employment at his Detroit facilities and Max Fleischer was recruited by this former Bray associate to act as a supervisor for many of the studios productions. This included the original animated adaptation of Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer in 1948. He also continued to patent countless inventions, following Paramount acquiring the rights to his previous patents, which although were not directly associated with Fleischer Studios they were still taken from Paramount, because of loopholes in the contracts he signed with them. Max also made a semi-auto biography entitled Noah's Shoes in 1944 which made reference to his association with Paramount and Dave and how they played a role in ousting him from the company he spent years building. Max used several different tropes to discuss his contempt for Paramount's management and Dave using Noah's Arc metaphors. Max than briefly re-associated himself with John Randolph Bray in 1953, the two hadn't professionally worked with one another since Max departed his studio in 1921, the creative partnership lasted three years but nothing seemed to have come out of it. Max decided to sue Paramount in 1956 after he discovered that Paramount broke their promise for Max to receive royalties for his cartoons television airings but also replaced his name in the credits with Paramount head Adolph Zukor. Stan Handman represented Max, not to long after Dave Fleischer commenced a lawsuit against Paramount trying to argue how Max conspired with Paramount to get Dave out of the picture. Max continued to actively produce documentaries, and educational films, and also resurfaced in Hal Segar's 1959 adaptation of Out of the Inkwell for which he was appalled by the low budgets and visibly poor quality that couldn't hold a candle to what was produced thirty years earlier. After spending years of trying to resurface in the public eye, Max retired at The Motion Picture Country House in 1967. Although the rift with his brother Dave was never resolved, Max eventually formed a friendship with his old rival Walt Disney, who welcomed Max to a reunion with former Fleischer animators who were by then employed by Disney. Max died of congestive heart failure on September 11, 1972, sadly never completing what was to be his greatest invention-a ''Perpetual Motion Clock.'' Dave Fleischer would go on to work as a special effects expert at Universal after his work at Columbia Pictures ended with the shutdown of its animation department, and would retire in the late 60's, and he finally died of a stroke on June 25, 1979. [[/folder]] While the Fleischer brothers and their star characters have long since passed, their influence in the medium of entertainment must not be underestimated. Besides the aforementioned examples of Miyazaki and DCAU, the Fleischers, along with Disney were a heavy influence on anime legend OsamuTezuka, whom would take many of the Fleischer's techniques (and their limited animation) and integrate it into his own style in his manga and anime like ''Anime/AstroBoy'' and Kimba the Lion-stuff which would go on to make the anime industry into what it is today. Animation legend BobClampett of WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes fame also seemed to take a lot of inspiration from the Fleischers, taking many a queue from them by making his cartoons as wacky and surreal as possible, as well as intergrating music in a very similar way Fleischer did into his cartoons. RenAndStimpy creator JohnKricfalusi also cites the Fleischer brothers as a major influence in his works. ---- !!Works of the Fleischer Brothers (in as close to chronological release order as possible) include: * [[OutOfTheInkwell Koko the Clown]]: The original star of the Fleischers, starring in the [[RogerRabbitEffect Live Action/Animation]] blending ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series. He lasted well into the sound era, occasionally co-starring in shorts with Betty Boop. * ''{{Talkartoons}}'': A series of sound cartoons made by the studio, starring recurring character Bimbo the Dog. This series eventually morphed into the Betty Boop series. * ''ScreenSongs'': A series of sound cartoons centered around loose plots, serving as the music videos of their day, featuring Max's [[FollowTheBouncingBall famous bouncing ball]] sing-a-longs. This series would later be revived by FamousStudios. * WesternAnimation/BettyBoop: The most famous character created by the Fleischer studio, Betty initially appeared as a bit-player in ''Talkartoons'', but slowly gained popularity, to where she claimed her own series and became the flagship character of the Fleischer studio. * {{Popeye}}: While the Fleischer brothers didn't create the character (''Popeye'' was a popular newspaper comic at the time) they helped mold and immortalize the character into what he's recognized as today. Popeye is also the most successful brand of shorts the Fleischers ever produced, even surpassing Betty Boop in popularity during his prime. ** ''PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor''. ** ''PopeyeTheSailorMeetsAliBabasFortyThieves''. * ''ColorClassics'': A series of ''SillySymphonies'' clones made by the Fleischers, due to pressure from Paramount themselves. * ''WesternAnimation/GulliversTravels'': The 1939 feature length film adaptation made to ride off the success of Disney's ''Snow White''. ** This movie also spawned a very short lived series of short subjects starring Gabby, the town crier in the film. * ''Animated Antics'': A series of cartoon shorts largely themed around one-shot gag stories, but four of them feature appearances of characters from ''Gulliver's Travels''. * ''Stone Age'': A 12 short series of caveman themed cartoons. * ''Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy'': A two-reeler about two sentient dolls (not to be confused with the feature-length [[RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure film about the same characters]] made by RichardWilliams over three decades later) * ''SupermanTheatricalCartoons'': The first nine shorts, at any rate (the other eight were handled by their "successor" outfit, Famous Studios) * ''MrBugGoesToTown'': The second film made by the Fleischers, and (indirectly) part of what ultimately brought the studio to its demise. * ''The Raven'': An extremely loose two-reeler adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's classic poem. ---- !!Tropes that are present in the studio's work: * AnAesop: In particular, the Betty Boop and Popeye shorts often have the characters sing the Aesop. A common one is kindness to animals, which turns up in the Betty Boop short "Be Human", the Popeye shorts "Be Kind To Animals" and "Bulldozing The Bulls", the Color Classic "Song Of The Birds", and the Animated Antics short "Bring Himself Back Alive". [[AesopAmnesia Not that this stops Grampy or Popeye from hurting animals in some other shorts]]. * AnimatedMusicVideo: The TropeMaker is Screen Songs. * CaptainErsatz: The dog and hunter in the Animated Antics short "Zero the Hound" features a startling resemblance to Egghead and his dog from the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes short "Hare-Um Scare-Um". This may be because their designer, Charles Thorson, was working at the Fleischer studio during the time that short was made. * DerangedAnimation: This studio more than perhaps any other is ''famous'' for it. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b8isnhYMjg Swing, you Sinners!]] is a good place to start. * DisproportionateRetribution: In "Swing, You Sinners!", Bimbo gets haunted, harassed, chased, terrified and [[spoiler:eaten]] by spooks of all sorts, all because he tried to steal a chicken. Even after he promised never to steal again! * FollowTheBouncingBall: TropeNamer and TropeMaker. * HeAlsoDid: Dave Fleischer also did [[http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/lets-all-go-to-the-lobby-trailer-canon-royalty-free-clips/3e1d2ddd5f9795b81ae53e1d2ddd5f9795b81ae5-699545748871?q=youtube+lets+all+go+to+the+lobby&FORM=VIRE2 this iconic Theater Snipe.]] * InkblotCartoonStyle * MickeyMousing * MusicalEpisode: A few shorts featured jazz hits of the day from the likes of CabCalloway and LouisArmstrong. * NoEnding: Some of the shorts follow this, such as "Swing, you Sinners!". It ends with [[spoiler:a giant scat-singing frog. Floaty heads. A skull eating Bimbo.]] * PantyShot: Betty Boop. * {{Rotoscoping}}: Done WELL. Not terribly shocking considering the Fleischers ''invented'' the technique in the first place. * RubberHoseLimbs * SceneryPorn: Especially in the double-reel ''Popeye'' cartoons. * SpaceWhaleAesop: In "Swing You Sinners": Don't steal chickens, or an army of swingin' ghosts will come along and spirit you away. And then you'll be sent to an AcidTripDimension where you'll be eaten by a giant shrieking skull.[[redirect:Creator/MaxAndDaveFleischer]]
23rd Apr '13 12:48:21 AM Soufriere
Is there an issue? Send a Message
* {{Popeye}}: While the Fleischer brothers didn't create the character (Popeye was a popular newspaper comic at the time) they helped mold and immortalize the character into what he's recognized as today. Popeye is also the most successful brand of shorts the Fleischers ever produced, even surpassing Betty Boop in popularity during his prime.
to:
* {{Popeye}}: While the Fleischer brothers didn't create the character (Popeye (''Popeye'' was a popular newspaper comic at the time) they helped mold and immortalize the character into what he's recognized as today. Popeye is also the most successful brand of shorts the Fleischers ever produced, even surpassing Betty Boop in popularity during his prime.

* ''Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy'': A two-reeler about two sentient dolls (not to be confused with the feature-length RichardWilliams' [[RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure feature film about the same characters]] over three decades later) * ''SupermanTheatricalCartoons'': The first nine theatrical cartoons made by them, anyways. (the other eight were handled by Famous Studios)
to:
* ''Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy'': A two-reeler about two sentient dolls (not to be confused with the feature-length RichardWilliams' [[RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure feature film about the same characters]] made by RichardWilliams over three decades later) * ''SupermanTheatricalCartoons'': The first nine theatrical cartoons made by them, anyways. shorts, at any rate (the other eight were handled by their "successor" outfit, Famous Studios)

* DerangedAnimation: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b8isnhYMjg Swing, you Sinners!]] for start.
to:
* DerangedAnimation: This studio more than perhaps any other is ''famous'' for it. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b8isnhYMjg Swing, you Sinners!]] for is a good place to start.

* NoEnding: Some of the shorts follow this, such as "Swing, you Sinners!". It ends with [[spoiler: a giant scat-singing frog. Floaty heads. A skull eating Bimbo.]]
to:
* NoEnding: Some of the shorts follow this, such as "Swing, you Sinners!". It ends with [[spoiler: a [[spoiler:a giant scat-singing frog. Floaty heads. A skull eating Bimbo.]]

* {{Rotoscoping}}: Done WELL.
to:
* {{Rotoscoping}}: Done WELL. Not terribly shocking considering the Fleischers ''invented'' the technique in the first place.

* SceneryPorn
to:
* SceneryPornSceneryPorn: Especially in the double-reel ''Popeye'' cartoons.
18th Apr '13 12:57:02 PM EarlOfSandvich
Is there an issue? Send a Message
While the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided him with the necessary tools to become a proficient artist, it provided very little money. As a result, Max accepted a job as an illustrator for a fashion catalog in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be subsequently hired at ''Popular Science Monthly'' by Waldemar Kempft, returning to New York City in 1912. Max also couldn't help but acknowledge the budding art form which was animation; which was slowly on the rise in New York in the early 1910's following the success of {{Winsor McCay}}'s initial films, such as ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/GertieTheDinosaur''. He became an avid follower of animation and read many technical articles; at the same time hhe put thought and consideration into trying to correct many of the technical shortcomings that plagued early animated films. Max was determined to provide a solution, particularly once Waldemar Kempft encouraged him to devise a solution following Waldemar's personal experience watching a TheodoreRoosevelt animated cartoon; appalled at the quality, he lamented about it to Max. Waldemar, recognizing his diverse understanding of commercial art, photography, and machinery, encouraged Max to dedicate time to improving the quality of animated films. This was the genesis to the [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscope.]]
to:
While the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided him with the necessary tools to become a proficient artist, it provided very little money. As a result, Max accepted a job as an illustrator for a fashion catalog in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be subsequently hired at ''Popular Science Monthly'' by Waldemar Kempft, returning to New York City in 1912. Max also couldn't help but acknowledge the budding art form which was animation; which was slowly on the rise in New York in the early 1910's following the success of {{Winsor McCay}}'s Creator/WinsorMcCay's initial films, such as ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/GertieTheDinosaur''. He became an avid follower of animation and read many technical articles; at the same time hhe put thought and consideration into trying to correct many of the technical shortcomings that plagued early animated films. Max was determined to provide a solution, particularly once Waldemar Kempft encouraged him to devise a solution following Waldemar's personal experience watching a TheodoreRoosevelt animated cartoon; appalled at the quality, he lamented about it to Max. Waldemar, recognizing his diverse understanding of commercial art, photography, and machinery, encouraged Max to dedicate time to improving the quality of animated films. This was the genesis to the [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscope.]]
7th Apr '13 7:25:55 PM Tuckerscreator
Is there an issue? Send a Message
'''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. They were also a top of the line animation studio in the 1930's and early 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'', the ComicStrip/PopeyeTheSailor cartoons, and eventually the SupermanTheatricalCartoons.
to:
'''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. They were also a top of the line animation studio in the 1930's and early 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'', the ComicStrip/PopeyeTheSailor ''{{ComicStrip/Popeye}} The Sailor'' cartoons, and eventually the SupermanTheatricalCartoons. ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons''.
7th Apr '13 7:25:18 PM Tuckerscreator
Is there an issue? Send a Message
[[caption-width-right:300:Max Fleischer, pictured here with BettyBoop.]] -->''Both Fleischer and {{Disney}} had a great deal of respect for each other. The older man had pioneered many of the early innovations in the medium. The younger man, {{Disney}}, had wanted to be another Fleischer.''
to:
[[caption-width-right:300:Max Fleischer, pictured here with BettyBoop.WesternAnimation/BettyBoop.]] -->''Both Fleischer and {{Disney}} {{Creator/Disney}} had a great deal of respect for each other. The older man had pioneered many of the early innovations in the medium. The younger man, {{Disney}}, had wanted to be another Fleischer.''

'''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. They were also a top of the line animation studio in the 1930's and early 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''BettyBoop'', the PopeyeTheSailor cartoons, and eventually the SupermanTheatricalCartoons.
to:
'''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. They were also a top of the line animation studio in the 1930's and early 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''BettyBoop'', ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'', the PopeyeTheSailor ComicStrip/PopeyeTheSailor cartoons, and eventually the SupermanTheatricalCartoons.

Screen Songs began in January of 1929, Max decided to expand on his experience with Lip Synch by dedicating {{Talkartoons}} exclusively to that purpose which began with ''Noah's Lark'' in October of 1929. Talkartoons had no central character, like many Flesicher productions the shorts were based on successful gag structure and the characters actions [[MickeyMousing timed to the musical track.]] After several one-shots they would eventually settle on Bimbo, a cigar wielding, sarcastic, chauvinist personality whose design was based on Mickey Mouse's. Much of what Bimbo actually was, was a [[ExPy redesign]] of Fitz from Out of the Inkwell; at least GrimNatwick's personal interpretation of the character. After Huemer accepted a job at Mintz producing the ''Scrappy'' shorts, Natwick became the driving force for Fleischer Studios. Once more Paramount was anxious to promote one its headlining stars Helen Kane and used Talkartoons as a tool to help promote her likeness. Natwick was in charge of conceiving this character as Bimbo's love interest, this character eventually evolved into BettyBoop. She first made a cameo appearance in ''Dizzy Dishes'' and eventually went through several redesigns, much of her development as a personality took place following Grim's departure to the UbIwerks studio. Betty Boop abruptly took over the series and became one of the largest box-office draws of the early 1930's. Talkartoons was converted to Betty Boop by 1932, Bimbo being [[DemotedToExtra demoted to little more than a sidekick]] and Ko-Ko the Clown occasionally being brought out of retirement.
to:
Screen Songs began in January of 1929, Max decided to expand on his experience with Lip Synch by dedicating {{Talkartoons}} exclusively to that purpose which began with ''Noah's Lark'' in October of 1929. Talkartoons had no central character, like many Flesicher productions the shorts were based on successful gag structure and the characters actions [[MickeyMousing timed to the musical track.]] After several one-shots they would eventually settle on Bimbo, a cigar wielding, sarcastic, chauvinist personality whose design was based on Mickey Mouse's. Much of what Bimbo actually was, was a [[ExPy redesign]] of Fitz from Out of the Inkwell; at least GrimNatwick's personal interpretation of the character. After Huemer accepted a job at Mintz producing the ''Scrappy'' shorts, Natwick became the driving force for Fleischer Studios. Once more Paramount was anxious to promote one its headlining stars Helen Kane and used Talkartoons as a tool to help promote her likeness. Natwick was in charge of conceiving this character as Bimbo's love interest, this character eventually evolved into BettyBoop.Betty Boop. She first made a cameo appearance in ''Dizzy Dishes'' and eventually went through several redesigns, much of her development as a personality took place following Grim's departure to the UbIwerks studio. Betty Boop abruptly took over the series and became one of the largest box-office draws of the early 1930's. Talkartoons was converted to Betty Boop by 1932, Bimbo being [[DemotedToExtra demoted to little more than a sidekick]] and Ko-Ko the Clown occasionally being brought out of retirement.

* ''{{Talkartoons}}'': A series of sound cartoons made by the studio, starring recurring character Bimbo the Dog. This series eventually morphed into the BettyBoop series.
to:
* ''{{Talkartoons}}'': A series of sound cartoons made by the studio, starring recurring character Bimbo the Dog. This series eventually morphed into the BettyBoop Betty Boop series.

* BettyBoop: The most famous character created by the Fleischer studio, Betty initially appeared as a bit-player in ''Talkartoons'', but slowly gained popularity, to where she claimed her own series and became the flagship character of the Fleischer studio.
to:
* BettyBoop: WesternAnimation/BettyBoop: The most famous character created by the Fleischer studio, Betty initially appeared as a bit-player in ''Talkartoons'', but slowly gained popularity, to where she claimed her own series and became the flagship character of the Fleischer studio.
17th Jan '13 3:16:22 PM JAC92
Is there an issue? Send a Message
Max was born July 19, 1883, to William Fleischer, a moderately successful Austrian tailor who was second of six children, the oldest being Charles and the the younger siblings being Lou, Joe, Dave, and Ethel. Max and Charlie headed for America in 1887, and by 1888 his father had set up his own personal business in NewYork, using a stuffed horse in the display window to attract a variety of customers. After moving from Austria, Max and Charlie were enthusiastic about their new way of life. The brothers performed many dangerous tricks and stunts with their newly purchased bicycles to woo the girls throughout Brooklyn. Max's stunts managed to attract a young Essie Goldstein. The Goldstein's immigrated from England where they had operated a music hall, but had no success with. The Goldstein's moved to America where the Immigration officers gave Essie's parents a new last name because of the difficulty of understanding their language. After Max graduated from high school, he managed to receive apprenticeship for commercial art at Cooper Union, and also, as a fallback career, attended The Mechanics and Trademans School.
to:
Max was born July 19, 1883, to William Fleischer, a moderately successful Austrian tailor who was second of six children, the oldest being Charles and the the younger siblings being Lou, Joe, Dave, and Ethel. Max and Charlie headed for America in 1887, and by 1888 the year prior in 1886 his father had entered New York and set up his own personal business in NewYork, business, using a stuffed horse in the display window to attract a variety of customers. After moving from Austria, Max and Charlie were enthusiastic about their new way of life. The brothers performed many dangerous tricks and stunts with their newly purchased bicycles to woo the girls throughout Brooklyn. Max's stunts managed to attract a young Essie Goldstein. The Goldstein's immigrated from England where they had operated a music hall, but had no success with. The Goldstein's moved to America where the Immigration officers gave Essie's parents a new last name because of the difficulty of understanding their language. After Max graduated from high school, he managed to receive apprenticeship for commercial art at Cooper Union, and also, as a fallback career, attended The Mechanics and Trademans School.
14th Jan '13 1:03:00 PM Prinzenick
Is there an issue? Send a Message
'''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. The duo also pioneered the use of {{Rotoscoping}} via Koko, with one or the other of them dressing up in a clown suit owned from a previous job one of them had at a fair. They then proceeded to trace over the live action footage of the clown, not only giving the animation a fluid, realistic look, but also saving them large amounts of money at the same time. They would later on enlist the help of CabCalloway, rotoscoping his dance moves into several of their cartoons in the 1930's. The Fleischers were also the earliest known studio to openly embrace the idea of DerangedAnimation (although most ''independent'' animators prior to them were pretty deranged, too - EmileCohl especially.) One needs only look at one of their early shorts to see just how surreal, over the top, out of control, and full of imagination their works were.
to:
'''''Max And Dave Fleischer''''' are two of the most prolific ([[NeedsMoreLove sadly, mostly unknown to today's audiences]]) men to ever work in the HistoryOfAnimation. Getting their start off in the [[TheSilentAgeOfAnimation Silent Era]], they pioneered one of the earliest attempts at blending [[RogerRabbitEffect live action and animation]] with their hit ''OutOfTheInkwell'' series, starring Koko The Clown. The duo They were also pioneered the use of {{Rotoscoping}} via Koko, with one or the other of them dressing up in a clown suit owned from a previous job one of them had at a fair. They then proceeded to trace over the live action footage top of the clown, not only giving the line animation a fluid, realistic look, but also saving them large amounts of money at the same time. They would later on enlist the help of CabCalloway, rotoscoping his dance moves into several of their cartoons studio in the 1930's. The Fleischers were also the earliest known studio to openly embrace the idea of DerangedAnimation (although most ''independent'' animators prior to them were pretty deranged, too - EmileCohl especially.) One needs only look at one of their 1930's and early shorts to see just how surreal, over 40's, producing such landmark hits like ''BettyBoop'', the top, out of control, PopeyeTheSailor cartoons, and full of imagination their works were. eventually the SupermanTheatricalCartoons.
13th Jan '13 3:00:53 AM SeptimusHeap
Is there an issue? Send a Message
Much of ''Gulliver'''s banality and constant need to hold up to Disney's standards was much of Paramount's management's and Cal Howard's doing. Max himself actually was apathetic to trying to be like Disney; he even downplayed Disney's merits by claiming that ''Gulliver'' would not have any scary or intimidating scenes such as Snow White fleeing from the huntsman throughout the forest, in order to promote it as a clean family picture, just not wanting to acknowledge Disney's triumph. Their were other feature proposals as well -- Paramount suggested ''Peter Pan'', ''Blue Bird'', and a film dedicated to the [[TheBible Nativity Scene]] were also tossed around. None of these came to fruition, but concept art still survives.
to:
Much of ''Gulliver'''s banality and constant need to hold up to Disney's standards was much of Paramount's management's and Cal Howard's doing. Max himself actually was apathetic to trying to be like Disney; he even downplayed Disney's merits by claiming that ''Gulliver'' would not have any scary or intimidating scenes such as Snow White fleeing from the huntsman throughout the forest, in order to promote it as a clean family picture, just not wanting to acknowledge Disney's triumph. Their were other feature proposals as well -- Paramount suggested ''Peter Pan'', ''Blue Bird'', and a film dedicated to the [[TheBible [[Literature/TheBible Nativity Scene]] were also tossed around. None of these came to fruition, but concept art still survives.
7th Jan '13 11:40:43 PM TTPT58983
Is there an issue? Send a Message
While the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided him with the necessary tools to become a proficient artist, it provided very little money. As a result, Max accepted a job as an illustrator for a fashion catalog in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be subsequently hired at ''Popular Science Monthly'' by Waldemar Kempft, returning to New York City in 1912. Max also couldn't help but acknowledge the budding art form which was animation; which was slowly on the rise in New York in the early 1910's following the success of {{Winsor [=McCay=]}}'s initial films, such as ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/GertieTheDinosaur''. He became an avid follower of animation and read many technical articles; at the same time hhe put thought and consideration into trying to correct many of the technical shortcomings that plagued early animated films. Max was determined to provide a solution, particularly once Waldemar Kempft encouraged him to devise a solution following Waldemar's personal experience watching a TheodoreRoosevelt animated cartoon; appalled at the quality, he lamented about it to Max. Waldemar, recognizing his diverse understanding of commercial art, photography, and machinery, encouraged Max to dedicate time to improving the quality of animated films. This was the genesis to the [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscope.]]
to:
While the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided him with the necessary tools to become a proficient artist, it provided very little money. As a result, Max accepted a job as an illustrator for a fashion catalog in Boston, Massachusetts, only to be subsequently hired at ''Popular Science Monthly'' by Waldemar Kempft, returning to New York City in 1912. Max also couldn't help but acknowledge the budding art form which was animation; which was slowly on the rise in New York in the early 1910's following the success of {{Winsor [=McCay=]}}'s McCay}}'s initial films, such as ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo'' and ''WesternAnimation/GertieTheDinosaur''. He became an avid follower of animation and read many technical articles; at the same time hhe put thought and consideration into trying to correct many of the technical shortcomings that plagued early animated films. Max was determined to provide a solution, particularly once Waldemar Kempft encouraged him to devise a solution following Waldemar's personal experience watching a TheodoreRoosevelt animated cartoon; appalled at the quality, he lamented about it to Max. Waldemar, recognizing his diverse understanding of commercial art, photography, and machinery, encouraged Max to dedicate time to improving the quality of animated films. This was the genesis to the [[{{Rotoscoping}} rotoscope.]]
12th Nov '12 10:58:50 AM Prinzenick
Is there an issue? Send a Message
The mid-thirties proved to be commercially prosperous but also artistically stagnant, as stated earlier their picture commitments, short production periods gave them little time to improve the quality of their work. Despite this they pioneered the precursor to the Multi-Plane which was the Stereoptical Process. Which was patented in 1933 but not used until 1934 for Betty Boop's Poor Cinderella. Poor Cinderella was also Max's first foray into color production, in a series called Color Classics that would exclusively be dedicated to color production, Max was using Cinecolor instead of Three-Strip which was exclusively controlled by Walt Disney until 1936. The Stereoptical Camera was very difficult to control and maintain and all of the sets were quickly disposed once the film was completed. Max as usual undermined his companies accomplishments and failed to see the intense admiration these sets would receive from cartoon aficionados and historians. Feeling comfortable enough to test Popeye elsewhere Paramount granted Max to produce two-reelers starring the one-eyed sailor. Sinbad and Ali Babba produced in 1936 and 1937 respectively were the first time an American animated film had extended beyond one-reel. Although animated features were already pioneered in Argentina, and Germany this was a first for America. The two-reeler's however were downplayed following Walt's triumph with ''Snow White'', after Max had badgered Paramount to produce an animated feature for over three years, they finally caved in. Max however didn't want to continue producing within New York and was anxious to relocate, visibly distressed by his employees unionizing in 1937. Much of this was because of the oppressive working conditions. A lot of this was Paramount's doing as stated earlier with the management change and Barney Balbian's leadership. Not only did they give short deadlines to meet, committing to several different series at once, and oppressive working conditions made it difficult to dedicate time to improving the product. It also added considerably to the working conditions of the staff, who lamented about this through unionization. So a lot of employees that may have had a pre-existing relationship with Max now found themselves on opposite ends and physically confronting some of his close friends who had trouble getting in and out of the studio because of the picketing outside. Max was alienated by New York. He and Dave, by the mid-thirties were dedicating a fraction of the year to going to Miami where they owned vacation homes and just wanted to completely abandon residing in New York. Shamus Culhane however later recalled how impulsive Max was with his decision as there was cheap enough studio space throughout Manhattan that could be enough to produce an animated feature.
to:
The mid-thirties proved to be commercially prosperous but also artistically stagnant, as stated earlier their picture commitments, short production periods gave them little time to improve the quality of their work. Despite this they pioneered the precursor to the Multi-Plane which was the Stereoptical Process. Which Process, aka the Three-Dimensional Setback. This complex device, which used large model sets built out of paper mache and lighting tools, was patented in 1933 but not used until 1934 for Betty Boop's Poor Cinderella. Poor Cinderella ''Poor Cinderella''. This short was also Max's first foray into color production, in a series called Color Classics ''ColorClassics'' that would exclusively be dedicated to color production, with Max was using Cinecolor instead of Three-Strip which was exclusively controlled by Walt Disney until 1936. The Stereoptical Camera Camera, while technically impressive and successful creating a convincing illusion of depth, was very difficult to control and maintain maintain, and all of the sets were quickly disposed once the film was completed. Max as usual undermined his companies accomplishments and failed to see the intense admiration these sets would receive from cartoon aficionados and historians. Feeling comfortable enough to test Popeye elsewhere Paramount granted Max to produce two-reelers starring the one-eyed sailor. Sinbad PopeyeTheSailorMeetsSindbadTheSailor and Ali Babba PopeyeMeetsAliBaba, produced in 1936 and 1937 respectively respectively, were the first time an American animated film had extended beyond one-reel. Although animated features were already pioneered in Argentina, and Germany this was a first for America. The two-reeler's however were downplayed following Walt's triumph with ''Snow White'', after Max had badgered Paramount to produce an animated feature for over three years, they finally caved in. Max however didn't want to continue producing within New York and was anxious to relocate, visibly distressed by his employees unionizing in 1937. Much of this was because of the oppressive working conditions. A lot of this was Paramount's doing as stated earlier with the management change and Barney Balbian's leadership. Not only did they give short deadlines to meet, committing to several different series at once, and oppressive working conditions made it difficult to dedicate time to improving the product. It also added considerably to the working conditions of the staff, who lamented about this through unionization. So a lot of employees that may have had a pre-existing relationship with Max now found themselves on opposite ends and physically confronting some of his close friends who had trouble getting in and out of the studio because of the picketing outside. Max was alienated by New York. He and Dave, by the mid-thirties were dedicating a fraction of the year to going to Miami where they owned vacation homes and just wanted to completely abandon residing in New York. Shamus Culhane Animator ShamusCulhane however later recalled how impulsive Max was with his decision decision, as there was cheap enough studio space throughout Manhattan that could be enough to produce an animated feature.

Miami was a doomed venture from the start not just from a financial perspective, but concerning Max abandoning the talent pool in New York. A good percentage of the studios musical department also refused to move as a result the compositions for many Miami Productions waned. The other issue was that the advantages were minimal, the working environment in Miami was much more comfortable than the crammed office space in 1600 Broadway, as a result many artists that were employed at the Miami facility have fond memories not aware of the tension between Max, Dave, and Paramount. Taxes were lower so that extra cash flow could be used to charge higher salaries than Disney's, however they still didn't manage to recruit all the best talent the west had to offer. Also to meet the short deadline of trying to get Gulliver released by Christmas of 1939, meant for Max to over-populate the studio with over 750 employees. Many of whom were Miami Art School students, with minimal resources and a less than stellar artistic background many of these novices didn't have the same advantages that the west coast recruits had and proved to be a hindrance to production. Also many of the West Coast recruits namely Cal Howard a former Warner's employee recommended completely revamping the entire production of Gulliver, Max's initial vision was to make it a Popeye vehicle, but Cal's charisma and manipulative personality made them go a direction that would make it seem they were trying to emulate Disney. Much of ''Gulliver'''s banality and constant need to hold up to Disney's standards was much of Paramount's management's and Cal Howard's doing. Max himself actually was apathetic to trying to be like Disney, he even downplayed Disney's merits by claiming that ''Gulliver'' would not have any scary or intimidating scenes such as Snow White fleeing from the huntsman throughout the forest, in order to promote it as a clean family picture, just not wanting to acknowledge Disney's triumph. Their were other feature proposals as well -- Paramount suggested ''Peter Pan'', ''Blue Bird'', and a film dedicated to the Nativity Scene were also tossed around. None of these came to fruition but concept art still survives. The rivalry between Max and Dave was already brewing prior to Miami. Dave was always lamenting about him and his brothers living in Max's shadow as Max received the majority of publicity, while Dave and his brothers constantly reminded him that the studios accomplishments were a collaborative effort between him and his brothers and not exclusive to just him. Max was willing to abandon Popeye as well considering that when the King Features contract expires in 1942 they were obligated to dispose of the Popeye Negatives. Max was interested in abandoning Popeye sooner than this and proceeded to take the studio down the path of producing more dramatic films, however he was quite vague about what he wanted and his brothers specifically Dave were livid at the constant effort and sacrifice they made for Popeye and for him to just abruptly want to end its production when it was lucrative made Dave frustrated. The other issue was that Dave wanted to compose the score for ''Gulliver's Travels''. He had some extensive experience writing compositions for Screen Songs, although he never had the expertise that Lou Fleischer had in the musical department. Max was skeptical and brought this up with Paramount's management who decided to ignore Dave's proposal and hire a professional songwriting team. Dave livid attitude was further cemented against Max, when their were rumors of him having an affair with a secretary which he wasn't. Though Dave's wife was so paranoid that he told Essie Max's wife about it, and Essie demanded that Max confront Dave, Dave sick of these rumors caved in and decided to retaliate by actually having an affair with the secretary to spite the people that were paranoid. This made Dave take extended leave and head back to New York with the secretary for a good amount of 1940. Without Dave supervising the films Cal Howard was left to manage the studio creatively and things went south fast.
to:
Miami was a doomed venture from the start not just from a financial perspective, but concerning Max abandoning the talent pool in New York. A good percentage of the studios musical department also refused to move move; as a result the compositions for many Miami Productions waned. The other issue was that the advantages were minimal, the working environment in Miami was much more comfortable than the crammed office space in 1600 Broadway, as a result many artists that were employed at the Miami facility have fond memories of working there, not aware of the tension between Max, Dave, and Paramount. Taxes were lower so that extra cash flow could be used to charge higher salaries than Disney's, however they were still didn't manage unable to recruit all the best talent the west had to offer. Also to meet the short deadline of trying to get Gulliver released by Christmas of 1939, 1939 (production beginning May 1938), meant for Max to over-populate the studio with over 750 employees. employees, a size far larger than the Miami studio was meant to contain. Many of whom these staffers were Miami Art School students, with minimal resources and a less than stellar artistic background many of these novices didn't have the same advantages that the west coast recruits had and proved to be a hindrance to production. Also many of the West Coast recruits recruits, namely Cal Howard Howard, a former Warner's employee employee, recommended completely revamping the entire production of Gulliver, Max's initial vision was to make it a Popeye vehicle, but Cal's charisma and manipulative personality made them go a direction that would make it seem they were trying to emulate Disney. Much of ''Gulliver'''s banality and constant need to hold up to Disney's standards was much of Paramount's management's and Cal Howard's doing. Max himself actually was apathetic to trying to be like Disney, Disney; he even downplayed Disney's merits by claiming that ''Gulliver'' would not have any scary or intimidating scenes such as Snow White fleeing from the huntsman throughout the forest, in order to promote it as a clean family picture, just not wanting to acknowledge Disney's triumph. Their were other feature proposals as well -- Paramount suggested ''Peter Pan'', ''Blue Bird'', and a film dedicated to the [[TheBible Nativity Scene Scene]] were also tossed around. None of these came to fruition fruition, but concept art still survives. The rivalry between Max and Dave was already brewing prior to Miami. Dave was always lamenting about him and his brothers living in Max's shadow as Max received the majority of publicity, while Dave and his brothers constantly reminded him that the studios accomplishments were a collaborative effort between him and his brothers and not exclusive to just him. Max was willing to abandon Popeye as well considering that when the King Features contract expires in 1942 they were obligated to dispose of the Popeye Negatives. Max was interested in abandoning Popeye sooner than this this, and proceeded to take the studio down the path of producing more dramatic films, however he was quite vague about what he wanted and his brothers specifically Dave were livid at the constant effort and sacrifice they made for Popeye and for him to just abruptly want to end its production when it was lucrative made Dave frustrated. The other issue was that Dave wanted to compose the score for ''Gulliver's Travels''. He had some extensive experience writing compositions for Screen Songs, although he never had the expertise that Lou Fleischer had in the musical department. Max was skeptical and brought this up with Paramount's management who decided to ignore Dave's proposal and hire a professional songwriting team. Dave livid attitude was further cemented against Max, when their were rumors of him having an affair with a secretary secretary, which he wasn't. Though Dave's wife was so paranoid that he told Essie Max's wife about it, and Essie demanded that Max confront Dave, Dave sick of these rumors caved in and decided to retaliate by actually having an affair with the secretary to spite the people that were paranoid. This made Dave take extended leave and head back to New York with the secretary for a good amount of 1940. Without Dave supervising the films Cal Howard was left to manage the studio creatively and things went south fast.
This list shows the last 10 events of 136. Show all.