Max Fleischer, The Father Of Modern Animation
Generally when people think of cartoons, in the sense of animated films, they assume that all the real pioneering work was done by Walt Disney back in the 20’s of the last century, but this is absolutely not the case. In fact almost all the development of techniques and styles were the work of a man who is now hardly remembered by people outside the world of animated films, a certain Max Fleischer.
The list of techniques and tools that he invented or developed is enormous, and his influence on what we now see every day on our screens is almost entirely due to the amazing imagination and skill of this remarkable man.
I shan’t bother to give a sort of potted biography of him here. What I shall be looking at here are the main threads of his development as an animator and an inventor of all manner of very significant techniques and aids to making and watching such cartoons.
OK, it is a bit of a give away I suppose, yup, he was the creator of Betty Boop among other famous cartoon characters.
He was also responsible for such famous cartoon characters as Popeye, Koko the Clown and numerous other now forgotten characters who were the result of his work, oh and he was also responsible for the first cartoons of good old Superman as well.
I shall be giving you examples of these various cartoons later in this post, so bear with me as I discuss some of his other major contributions to the art of animated films.
The first, and possibly the most significant was the invention of a gadget called the Rotoscope.