Dave Fleischer

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Dave Fleischer
David Fleischer

(1894-07-14)July 14, 1894
DiedJune 25, 1979(1979-06-25) (aged 84)
Resting place Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
OccupationAnimation and Film Director/Producer
Years active19181979
Ida Sharnow(m. 19191940)
Relatives Max Fleischer
Lou Fleischer
Joe Fleischer
Charles Fleischer

David Fleischer ( /ˈflʃər/ ; July 14, 1894 – June 25, 1979) was an American film director and producer, best known as a co-owner of Fleischer Studios with his older brother Max Fleischer. He was a native of New York City.

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Max Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio's parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions's becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Max Fleischer Polish-American animator, inventor. film director

Max Fleischer was a Polish-American animator, inventor, film director and producer. Born in Kraków, Poland, Fleischer became a pioneer in the development of the animated cartoon and served as the head of Fleischer Studios, which he co-founded with his younger brother Dave, in the United States. He brought such animated characters as Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Popeye, and Superman to the movie screen and was responsible for a number of technological innovations including the Rotoscope, the "Bouncing Ball" song films, and the "Stereoptical Process". Film director Richard Fleischer was his son.



Dave Fleischer was the youngest of five brothers and grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a poor Jewish neighbourhood. By the time Dave was born, his father had lost his means of livelihood due to The Industrial Revolution and the mass production of garments.

Brownsville, Brooklyn Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, New York

Brownsville is a residential neighborhood located in eastern Brooklyn in New York City. The 1.163-square-mile (3.01 km2) area that comprises Brownsville has 58,300 residents as of the 2010 United States Census. The neighborhood's boundaries are unclear, but it is generally bordered by Crown Heights to the northwest; Bushwick and Cypress Hills to the north; New Lots to the east; Canarsie to the south; and East Flatbush to the west.

Dave worked as an usher at the Palace Theater on Broadway, where he was exposed to vaudeville. This experience contributed to the development of his sense for gags and comic timing, which came into play when he joined forces with his older brother, Max in the production of animated cartoons. At one point, the family lived in Coney Island, and Dave became interested in being a clown for one of the sideshow amusements. This clown character would be recalled a few years later in connection with Max's early experiments with his first major invention, "The Rotoscope" and was the source of their first character who evolved into Koko the Clown in the pioneering series, Out of the Inkwell .

Palace Theatre (New York City) Broadway theater in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States

The Palace Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 1564 Broadway in midtown Manhattan, New York City. From 1913 through about 1929, the Palace attained legendary status among vaudeville performers as the flagship of the Keith–Albee organization, and the most desired booking in the country. With 1,610 seats spread over three levels, it is one of the largest theaters on Broadway, housing primarily large musicals and concert engagements. On September 16, 2018, following the run of SpongeBob SquarePants, the theater closed for an extensive renovation, and is expected to reopen in 2021.

Coney Island Neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City

Coney Island is a residential and commercial neighborhood and entertainment area in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. The neighborhood is bounded by Sea Gate to its west, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east, Lower New York Bay to the south, and Gravesend to the north. Coney Island was formerly the westernmost of the Outer Barrier islands on the southern shore of Long Island, but in the early 20th century it became a peninsula, connected to the rest of Long Island by land fill.

Koko the Clown

Koko the Clown is an animated character created by animation pioneer Max Fleischer. He first appeared as the main protagonist in Out of the Inkwell (1918-1929), a major animated series of the silent era. Throughout the series, he goes on many adventures with his canine companion “Fitz the Dog”, who would later evolve into Bimbo in the Betty Boop cartoons.

Around 1913–14, he began working as a film cutter for Pathé Exchange the American branch of Pathé, the French company that was the world's largest film production and distribution company, and the largest manufacturer of film equipment in the first decades of the 20th Century.

Pathé Exchange

Pathé Exchange was an independent American film production and distribution company from 1921 through 1927.

In 1921, he joined forces with Max in starting their first studio, Out of the Inkwell Films, Inc. in a dingy basement apartment in midtown Manhattan. He went on to become director and later supervising producer of the studio's output. Among the cartoon series Fleischer supervised were Out of the Inkwell, Inklings, The Inkwell Imps, Talkartoons , Betty Boop , Popeye the Sailor , Color Classics . He also supervised two animated features Gulliver's Travels and Mr. Bug Goes to Town .

Talkartoons is a series of 42 animated cartoons produced by the Fleischer Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures between 1929 and 1932.

Betty Boop Animated cartoon character

Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick. She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop film series, which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She has also been featured in comic strips and mass merchandising.

Color Classics were a series of animated short films produced by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures from 1934 to 1941 as a competitor to Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies. As the name implies, all of the shorts were made in color format, with the first entry of the series, Poor Cinderella (1934), being the first color cartoon produced by the Fleischer studio. There were 36 shorts produced in this series.

Following a relocation to Miami, Florida, and the production of their first feature, Gulliver's Travels, Fleischer Studios became indebted to Paramount Pictures due to the cost overruns on "Gulliver" and losses in rentals on the new 1940s cartoon series produced under Dave's control. The new series, including Stone Age Cartoons , Gabby and Animated Antics , were poorly received with theaters only valuing the Popeye cartoons. This forced the temporary surrender of Fleischer Studios to Paramount on May 24, 1941 while their final feature was contracted for completion. [1]

Paramount Pictures Major film studio in America, specializing in film and television production, and distribution.

Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.

Stone Age Cartoons is a 1940 American series of 12 animated short films from Fleischer Studios. The films are set in a stone-age time much like 1960s series The Flintstones. When they did not get the anticipated reception, Fleischer turned their attentions to the Gabby Color Cartoons.

Gabby was a Max Fleischer animated cartoon series distributed through Paramount Pictures. Gabby debuted as the town crier in the 1939 animated feature Gulliver’s Travels produced by Fleischer. Shortly afterward Paramount and Fleischer gave Gabby his own Technicolor spinoff cartoon series, eight entries of which were produced between 1940 and 1941. Gabby was voiced by Pinto Colvig, the voice of Walt Disney's Goofy, and Grumpy and Sleepy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Max Fleischer secured the license for Superman after Republic Pictures allegedly passed on the property as a potential serial. Budgeted at twice the cost of a Popeye cartoon, Superman , became the most successful cartoon series of the late Fleischer Studio period, representing its maturing into the 1940s. Relations between the brothers began to deteriorate around 1938, which was aggravated further by Dave's taking control of production starting in 1940, which resulted in the poorer cartoons produced under his control compounded by his continued rejection of Max's input and late completion of films. [1]

Dave Fleischer resigned from Fleischer Studios in late November, 1941 following the recording of the score for Mr. Bug Goes to Town His official resignation was announced on December 31, 1941. [1] He became Producer for Screen Gems at Columbia Pictures in April 1942, where he produced Song of Victory and Imagination, which were both nominated for Academy Awards. He also produced The Fox and Crow and Li'l Abner series, as well as the omnibus "Phantasies" series. In spite of the Oscar nominations, Harry Cohn fired Dave in 1944, replacing him with Harry Binder.

He approached Republic Pictures with an elf-like version of Koko the Clown, a character named "Snippy", who was tried out as a live action/animation combo novelty at the end of the low-budget nightclub musical, Trocadero . A "Snippy" cartoon series never materialised, however. Fleischer continued a Republic as Associate Producer of the minute-long animation sequence for another “B” movie, That's My Baby! .

For a short period, he had a comic strip for The Hollywood Citizen News. In the early 1950s, Dave animated a series of Technicolor theatrical snipes for the Filmac Trailer Company of Chicago. it was at Filmac Company that he animated the famous Let's All Go to the Lobby .

Following a series of oddball assignments, Dave landed a permanent position as a “Technical Specialist” at Universal through animation veteran, Walter Lantz. At Universal, Dave was a Special Effects Technical and general problem-solver, working on films such as Francis , The Birds , and Thoroughly Modern Millie . He was credited as "Technical Advisor" on Universal's American release of the Russian animated feature, The Snow Queen , supervising the English Language dubbing.


Following his assignment on Thoroughly Modern Millie, Fleischer retired, and continued to live at the Peyton Hall apartment complex on Hollywood Boulevard until his death. Fleischer died of a stroke on June 25, 1979.

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Bray Productions was the dominant animation studio based in the United States during the years of World War I.

<i>Superman</i> (1940s cartoons) series of seventeen animated Technicolor short films released by Paramount Pictures

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Famous Studios Defunct American animation studio

Famous Studios was the first animation division of the film studio Paramount Pictures from 1942 to 1967. Famous was founded as a successor company to Fleischer Studios, after Paramount seized control of the aforementioned studio and ousted its founders, Max and Dave Fleischer, in 1941. The studio's productions included three series started by the Fleischers—Popeye the Sailor, Superman, and Screen Songs—as well as Little Audrey, Little Lulu, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Honey Halfwitch, Herman and Katnip, Baby Huey, and the anthology Noveltoons series.

<i>Out of the Inkwell</i> 1918 film

Out of the Inkwell was a major animated series of the silent era produced by Max Fleischer from 1918 to 1929. The series was the result of three short experimental films that Max Fleischer independently produced in the period of 1914–1916 to demonstrate his invention, the Rotoscope, which was a device consisting of a film projector and easel used as an aid for achieving realistic movement for animated cartoons. The Rotoscope would project motion picture film through an opening in the easel, covered by a glass pane serving as a drawing surface. The image on the projected film was traced onto paper, advancing the film one frame at a time as each drawing would be made. Fleischer's younger brother Dave Fleischer, who was working as a clown at Coney Island, served as the model for their first famous character, eventually known as "Koko the Clown."

Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp is a two-reel animated cartoon short subject in the Popeye Color Specials series, produced in Technicolor and released to theaters on April 7, 1939, by Paramount Pictures. It was produced by Max Fleischer, and directed by Dave Fleischer for Fleischer Studios, Inc., with David Tendlar serving as head animator, and music being supervised by Sammy Timberg. The voice of Popeye is performed by Jack Mercer, with additional voices by Margie Hines as Olive Oyl and Carl Meyer as the evil Wazzir.

<i>Gullivers Travels</i> (1939 film) 1939 film by Max Fleischer, Dave Fleischer, Willard Bowsky

Gulliver's Travels is a 1939 American cel-animated Technicolor feature film produced by Max Fleischer and directed by Dave Fleischer for Fleischer Studios. Released to cinemas in the United States on December 22, 1939 by Paramount Pictures, the story is a very loose adaptation of Jonathan Swift's 18th century novel of the same name, specifically the first part which tells the story of Lilliput and Blefuscu, and centers around an explorer who helps a small kingdom who declared war after an argument over a wedding song. The film was Fleischer Studios' first feature-length animated film, as well as the second animated feature film produced by an American studio after Walt Disney Productions' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as Paramount had commissioned the feature in response to the success of that film. The sequences for the film were directed by Seymour Kneitel, Willard Bowsky, Tom Palmer, Grim Natwick, William Henning, Roland Crandall, Thomas Johnson, Robert Leffingwell, Frank Kelling, Winfield Hoskins, and Orestes Calpini.

Bernard "Berny" Wolf was an American animator and television producer.

Seymour Kneitel was an American animator. He is best known for his work with Fleischer Studios and its successor, Famous Studios.

<i>Ha! Ha! Ha!</i> (1934 film) 1934 film by Dave Fleischer

Ha! Ha! Ha! is a 1934 Fleischer Studio animated short film starring Betty Boop, and featuring Koko the Clown.

Isadore Sparber American film director

Isadore "Izzy" Sparber was an American storyboard artist, writer, director and producer of animated films. He is best known for his work with Fleischer Studios and its successor, Famous Studios. When credited, his work appeared under varying versions of his name, including "Izzy Sparber," "I. Sparber," "Irving Sparber," and "Isidore Sparber" or "Isadore Sparber."

<i>Superman</i> (1941 film) 1941 animated Technicolor short film directed by Dave Fleischer

Superman (1941) is the first installment in a series of seventeen animated Technicolor short films based upon the DC Comics character Superman. Also known as The Mad Scientist, Superman was produced by Fleischer Studios and released to theaters by Paramount Pictures on September 26, 1941. Superman ranked number 33 in a list of the fifty greatest cartoons of all time sourced from a 1994 poll of 1000 animation professionals, and was nominated for the 1942 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject.

This is a list of the 109 cartoons starring Popeye the Sailor, produced from 1933 to 1942 by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures.

<i>Popeye the Sailor: 1933–1938, Volume 1</i>

Popeye the Sailor: 1933–1938, Volume 1 is the first authorized collection of theatrical Popeye cartoons on home video. This four-disc DVD set includes 60 theatrical Popeye cartoons, and was released on July 31, 2007 by Warner Home Video. Included inside this box is a miniature reproduction of a sequence of vintage 1936 Thimble Theatre comic strips titled "The S'prise Fight!" and a recipe sheet with 25 cents off coupon for two cans of Allens' Popeye Spinach.

<i>Popeye the Sailor</i> (film series) film series

Popeye the Sailor is an American animated series of comedy short films based on the titular comic strip character created by E. C. Segar. In 1933, Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios adapted Segar's characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. The plotlines in the animated cartoons tended to be simpler than those presented in the comic strips, and the characters slightly different. A villain, usually Bluto, makes a move on Popeye's "sweetie," Olive Oyl. The villain clobbers Popeye until he eats spinach, giving him superhuman strength. Thus empowered, the sailor makes short work of the villain.

<i>Popeye the Sailor: 1941–1943, Volume 3</i>

Popeye the Sailor: 1941–1943, Volume 3 is the third of a series of DVD sets released by Warner Home Video collecting, in chronological order, the theatrical Popeye cartoons originally distributed by Paramount Pictures. This two-disc DVD set was released on November 4, 2008.


  1. 1 2 3 Shostak, Stu (November 19, 2008) Interview with Ray Pointer [radio broadcast]. Stu's Show. Los Angeles: Shokus Internet Radio.

Further reading