- Full Description
By the 1930s, Fleischer and Disney were the leading producers of animated films but took opposite approaches. Fleischer's cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than artistic--yet with an artistry of their own. Both animators sought to create images and action that violated physical laws, supporting Fleischer's maxim: "If it can be done in real life, it isn't animation." This book covers his life and work, with rare illustrations detailing the technical aspects of his craft. Eight page color section.
The history of animated cartoons has been dominated by Walt Disney, giving the impression that he perfected the medium. In reality, it was the work of several pioneers. Max Fleischer, inventor of the rotoscope technique of tracing animation frame by frame over live-action footage, was one of the most prominent.
This is well illustrated with photos of the Fleisher staff at work, model sheets for Betty Boop, Popeye, Gulliver, and other characters, and Max and Dave from their earliest days right up to the late 1950s. It also has some amazing technical drawings, executed by the Fleischers and others, detailing how they came to create both the rotoscope technique and other animation advances in the 20s and 30s.
Entire chapters look at ther greatest successes: Betty Boop and Popeye. Their seminal years of "Out of the Inkwell" look at the early classics. Of course the Superman cartoons and their animated films, like Gullivery, are also examined in depth. Their failures are also part of the story, as well as their move from New York to Florida, in chapters like "Stormy Seas Ahead" and "Shipwreck."
Jerry Beck is a noted animation historian and author of several books of his own. His endorsement of this new examination is enthusiastic. Author Pointer was inspired early by the Fleischer cartoons which lead to his career as artist, writer and producer. Now he gives back with a new and unparalled look behind the scenes at one of the great animation studios.
Personal aside: As wonderful as the early Disney work is, there is something very special and unique about the Fleischer classics. How inspired was it to have Cab Calloway's band provide music for the cartoons, and to rotoscope Cab himself doing soft-shoe for Old Man of the Mountain and Minnie the Moocher? I discovered these cartoons as 16mm, pirated versions in the seventies, long before the age of VHS and DVD. My kids grew up loving these classics, as well as the three extra-length Popeye epics, which featured amazing 3-D effects, and of course the wonderful wartime Superman cartoons. They are still a joy to watch today, whether on my aging 16mm projector or on the modern DVD collections. -Bud
- Additional Information
Item Code ARTINMF Publisher McFarland Publish Date 2017 ISBN 9781476663678 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 7X10 # Pages 302pg Color Text/b&w
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