superman fleischer brothers

This Looks Like a Job for … Max Fleischer’s Superman

In 1941, Paramount approached Max and Dave Fleischer, heads of their in-house animation production, with a proposal: to adapt the increasingly popular Superman comic book into an animated series for the big screen. But the Fleischers were reluctant. As Dave later admitted (as recounted in Les Daniels’ Superman: The Complete History), the idea of animating Superman was a daunting…

betty boop halloween party

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Betty Boop’s Hallowe’en Party (1933)

In 1933, Betty Boop was at the height of her cinematic fame. The Fleischer-animated shorts–racy, daffy, and wonderfully musical–were immensely popular. Audiences couldn’t get enough of sweet Betty and her crazy adventures, and the Fleischers continued to churn out one appealing cartoon after another. Over the course of her 1930s filmography, Betty Boop hosted any…

“A Most Remarkable Fellow”: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936)

By 1936, Popeye the Sailor had become even more popular than a certain storied mouse. Produced by Max Fleischer and directed by his brother, Dave, the theatrical cartoon series, adapted from the beloved comic strip by Elzie Segar, became the studio’s main bread-and-butter after the production of the studio’s other famous character, Betty Boop, had…

betty in blunderland

The early days of animation at Paramount, courtesy of the Fleischer brothers.

By 1927, Adolph Zukor, the Hollywood mogul behind the rapidly-expanding Paramount-Famous Lasky Corporation, had built a veritable entertainment empire. The studio had moved into a new, multimillion-dollar twenty-six acre lot off Melrose Avenue. They had amassed a chain of nearly two thousand theaters across the country, called Publix Theatres, in which to screen their many…