I’m sure all the animation buffs out there know my Uncle Max Fleischer as a pioneer, inventor and innovator in the film industry. He was responsible for many “firsts” during the Golden Age of Animation.
Did you know…
- In 1921, Uncle Max and his brother Dave established their own company which became Fleischer Studios. They eventually employed more than 700 people.
- In 1926, Fleischer Studios produced the very first cartoon with synchronized sound, “My Old Kentucky Home.”
- Max was a life-long inventor, holding over 15 patents in the film industry alone, including:
- The Rotoscope – an animation technique, still in use to this day, in which animators trace live action footage, frame by frame, to create realistic movement.
- The Bouncing Ball – a device used to visually indicate the rhythm of a song, helping audiences to sing along in time with the music.
- Max drew me Out of the Inkwell, as well as my friends, Koko the Clown and Bimbo. Plus he brought already established characters Popeye and Superman to the Silver Screen for the first time. Isn’t that cool?
To celebrate his birthday on July 19. my family over at Fleischer Studios has put together a wonderful exhibit about Uncle Max – the man. He was really quite wonderful, you know. You can see it here: http://www.fleischerstudios.com/birthday.html.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Max!