Posts Tagged ‘Max Fleischer’


Here’s a list of the 100 cartoons that I enjoy the most. These are NOT the greatest cartoons ever made, just the ones that I enjoy watching over and over. Other than the top 10 these cartoons aren’t really in a strict order. Hopefully I will later go through each cartoon and describe why I like it so much… or maybe I’ll just be really lazy again and not do that. I must also specify that I have not seen every cartoon ever made and there are some that I am not that familiar with such as Terrytoons. Perhaps if these were somehow released onto DVD or were more readily available to be viewed then I would have a higher opinion of them.

I also realise that there are no Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew or Foghorn Leghorn cartoons and very few Tweety and Sylvester or Tom and Jerry ones. There is a reason for this. I am not saying that this is correct, just my opinion, but I do find these cartoons to be a bit formulaic and repetitive. Maybe it’s a case of familiarity breeding contempt (whatever that means) as these cartoons were screened endlessly on TV when I was a kid and they are now perhaps a bit too familiar. I still enjoy them, but maybe just in small doses.

I also have to clarify, so it seems, that these are all theatrically released cartoons, not those that were made for TV. This is why there are no Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Rock & Bullwinkle etc cartoons listed. I think that a lot of people don’t realise that cartoons were shown in cinemas before the main feature which means that a Porky Pig cartoon would have been shown prior to one of Warner Bros. gangster films or Woody Woodpecker would have been on the same bill as a Universal horror film. Heck, I’ve even had someone tell me that in 1970 in NYC they played Looney Tunes cartoons before showing Fritz the Cat.

Made for TV cartoons are different to the theatricals  in other ways. From the 1960s or so, most TV cartoons were made exclusively for children and are quite childish as a result. It wasn’t until the arrival of The Simpsons (or just slightly earlier) that TV cartoons became a little bit more mature.

# Film Director Character Studio Year
1 One Froggy Evening Chuck Jones Michigan J Frog Warner Bros. 1955
2 Duck Amuck Chuck Jones Daffy Duck Warner Bros. 1953
3 The Band Concert Wilfred Jackson Mickey Mouse Disney 1935
4 Gerald McBoing-Boing Robert Cannon Gerald McBoing-Boing UPA 1951
5 Little Rural Riding Hood Tex Avery The Country Wolf/ The City Wolf MGM 1949
6 The Great Piggy Bank Robbery Bob Clampett Daffy Duck Warner Bros. 1946
7 Puss n’ Booty Frank Tashlin Rudolph Warner Bros. 1943
8 Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
9 You Ought to Be in Pictures Friz Freleng Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1940
10 Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century Chuck Jones Daffy Duck Warner Bros. 1953
11 Red Hot Riding Hood Tex Avery Red Hot Riding Hood/The Wolf MGM 1943
12 The Fox and the Grapes Frank Tashlin The Fox and The Crow Columbia Screen Gems 1941
13 What’s Opera, Doc? Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. 1957
14 The Ugly Duckling Jack Cutting The Ugly Duckling Disney 1939
15 Rooty Toot Toot John Hubley Frankie & Johnny UPA 1952
16 Tortoise Beats Hare Cecil Tex Avery Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. 1941
17 Ragtime Bear John Hubley Mr Magoo UPA 1949
18 Goonland Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1937
19 Peace on Earth Hugh Harmon MGM 1939
20 Feed the Kitty Chuck Jones Marc Anthont/Pussyfoot Warner Bros. 1952
21 The Big Snooze Bob Clampett Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1946
22 Puss Gets the Boot Bill Hanna & Joe Barbera Tom & Jerry MGM 1940
23 Bimbo’s Initiation Dave Fleischer Bimbo Fleischer 1931
24 Hockey Homicide Jack Kinney Goofy Disney 1945
25 Sh-h-h-h-h-h Tex Avery Walt Lantz 1955
26 Lost and Foundry Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer
27 Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs Bob Clampett Coal Black Warner Bros. 1943
28 Ferdinand the Bull Dick Rickard Ferdinand the Bull Disney 1938
29 Minnie the Moocher Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1932
30 Der Fuehrer’s Face Jack Kinney Donald Duck Disney 1941
31 Bad Luck Blackie Tex Avery Bad Luck Blackie MGM 1949
32 The Old Mill Wilfred Jackson Disney 1937
33 A Clean Shaven Man Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
34 The Three Little Pigs Burt Gillett The Three Little Pigs Disney 1933
35 Brave Little Tailor Burt Gillett Mickey Mouse Diseny 1939
36 Snow White Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1933
37 Lonesome Ghosts Burt Gillett Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Goofy Disney 1937
38 A Wild Hare Tex Avery Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1940
39 Rabbit of Seville Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1950
40 Porky Pig’s Feat Frank Tashlin Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1943
41 Symphony in Slang Tex Avery MGM 1951
42 Chow Hound Chuck Jones Warner Bros. 1951
43 Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
44 Thugs with Dirty Mugs Tex Avery Warner Bros. 1939
45 Clock Cleaners Ben Sharpsteen Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Goofy Disney 1937
46 Who Killed Who? Tex Avery MGM 1943
47 Brotherly Love Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
48 Donald’s Cousin Gus Jack King Donald Duck Disney 1939
49 Northwest Hounded Police Tex Avery Droopy MGM 1946
50 Giantland Burt Gillett Mickey Mouse Disney 1933
51 Goofy and Wilbur Dick Huemer Goofy Disney 1939
52 Three Little Bops Friz Freleng The Three Little Pigs Warner Bros. 1957
53 Fresh Airedale Chuck Jones Shep, Cat Warner Bros. 1945
54 Daffy Doodles Robert McKimson Daffy Duck/Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1946
55 Tubby the Tuba George Pal Tubby The Tuba Paramount (Puppetoon) 1947
56 Donald’s Crime Jack King Donald Duck Disney 1945
57 Horton Hatches the Egg Bob Clampett Horton The Elephant Warner Bros. 1942
58 From A to Z-Z-Z-Z Chuck Jones Ralph Phillips Warner Bros. 1953
59 King-Size Canary Tex Avery MGM 1947
60 A Bear For Punishment Chuck Jones The Three Bears Warner Bros. 1951
61 Farmyard Symphony Wilfred Jackson Disney 1938
62 Daffy Duck Slept Here Robert McKimson Daffy Duck/Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1948
63 Modern Inventions Jack King Donald Duck Disney 1937
64 Porky in Wackyland Bob Clampett Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1938
65 The Dover Boys Chuck Jones The Dover Boys Warner Bros. 1942
66 I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1932
67 A Gruesome Twosome Bob Clampett Tweety Warner Bros. 1945
68 The Hypo-Chondri-Cat Chuck Jones Claude Cat, Hubie, Bertie Warner Bros. 1950
69 Mickey’s Service Station Ben Sharpsteen Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pete Disney 1935
70 Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid Bob Clampett Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. 1942
71 Me Musical Nephews Tom Johnson Popeye Famous Studios
72 John Henry and the Inky Poo George Pal John Henry Paramount (Puppetoon) 1946
73 Magoo’s Puddle Jumper Pete Burness Mr Magoo UPA 1956
74 The Barber of Seville James Culhane Woody Woodpecker Walter Lantz 1944
75 Tulips Shall Grow George Pal Jan, Janette, Screwball Army Paramount (Puppetoon) 1942
76 Duck! Rabbit! Duck! Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1953
77 Cartoons Ain’t Human Seymour Kneitel Popeye Famous Studios 1943
78 The Blue Danube Hugh Harmon MGM 1939
79 The Pink Phink Friz Freleng The Pink Panther DePatie Freleng 1964
80 Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Graham Heid Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Disney 1938
81 Baby Bottleneck Bob Clampett Daffy Duck/Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1946
82 The Tell-Tale Heart Ted Parmelee UPA 1953
83 Thru the Mirror David Hand Mickey Mouse Disney 1936
84 The Magic Fluke John Hubley The Fox and The Crow UPA 1949
85 Mickey’s Mechanical Man Wilfred Jackson Mickey Mouse Disney 1933
86 A Dream Walking Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1934
87 Mickey’s Trailer Ben Sharpsteen Mickey Mouse Disney 1938
88 Little Hiawatha David Hand Little Hiawatha Disney 1937
89 The Old Man of the Mountain Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1933
90 The Paneless Window Washer Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1937
91 The Little House Wilfred Jackson The Little House Disney 1952
92 A Language All My Own Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1935
93 Pigs Is Pigs Jack Kinney Disney 1954
94 Madeline Robert Cannon UPA 1952
95 Lambert the Sheepish Lion Jack Hannah Lambert the Sheepish Lion Disney 1952
96 The Hungry Goat Dan Gordon Popeye Famous Studios 1943
97 Clash and Carry Jack Hannah Chilly Willy/Wally Walrus Walter Lantz 1961
98 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B Walter Lantz Walter Lantz 1941
99 Munro Gene Deitch Munro Rembrandt Films 1960
100 Betty Boop M.D. Dave Fleischer Betty Boop, Bimbo, Koko Fleischer 1932
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Here are a few posters for Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels, the second ever feature length animated film after Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. 

The posters are very attractive but the film itself has been criticised quite a bit. I don’t mind the film but would have liked to have seen the Fleischer’s original idea where Popeye would have played Gulliver, in the tradition of the earlier Popeye 2 reelers. 

I suppose the problem with Gulliver is that most people have only seen it via the cheap and nasty public domain DVDs that you can pick up from those $2 shops. These all seem to have been made from a pretty rotten quality print and can make the film almost unwatchable.

Anyway, the posters are all very nice and show just how much effort went into advertising a film back in the 1930s. Compare these to one of today’s animated films like Shrek.


Here’s the poster from my favourite Popeye cartoon, the 2 reel special Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor. This film and the other two reelers, were used to prepare the Paramount to the idea of making a feature length animated film.


The other day Australia’s free newspaper MX (and with MX you don’t get value for money) ran a brief expose on how Disney artists in the 1970s used a rotoscope device to trace scenes for the ‘classic’ (MX’s word, not mine) animated film Robin Hood. This would be a huge scandal if most people hadn’t known of this for at least the last thirty years.

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The 1970s weren’t exactly a great time for animation. Disney were tracing scenes from Snow White to make Robin Hood, while the last few animated short series that played in cinemas came to an end. Hanna Barbera and Filmation made thousands of horrible animated TV shows that people of my generation grew up with and sadly now get all nostalgic about. Perhaps because things were so terrible at this time it is the reason why I gravitated towards watching true classic cartoons like Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Tex Avery’s MGM cartoons, classic Disney films of the mid-late 30s, etc, instead of Scooby Doo, Superfriends or The Smurfs. Things really didn’t improve until the late 1980s.

As for what the rotoscope is, this is something that MX helpfully did not explain. It was a device invented in the 1910s by Max Fleischer that enabled him to trace live action footage of his brother Dave, in order to get more realistic movement for his Koko the Clown character. By the 1930s the rotoscope use wasn’t as common as it was, but the Fleischer’s still used it on occasion with Betty Boop, particularly when she had to do an elaborate dance routine like in Minnie the Moocher.

As for Disney ‘cheating’ by using the rotoscope to do some scenes in Robin Hood, so what! Every studio has in some way cheated on some cartoons for budgetary or other reasons. I don’t see this as any worse than a ‘so called’ newspaper like MX cutting and pasting articles from Perez Hilton’s website or celebrity Twitter and presenting them as real news.

To see a list of films where the rotoscope has been used go to Wikipedia.


I really like lookin’ at these old cartoon posters. They are a great piece of animation art and replicas can be bought quite easily form e-stores such as Moviegoods. Here are two different posters that were used for Popeye The Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves.198003_1020_a143501_1020_a


This is the original 1948 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon that was made by the Jam Handy studio. It was directed by Max Fleischer.

The Jam Handy studio is not as well known as the other animation studios of the golden age but the information I have read about it is quite interesting. They were primarily producing industrial films, not theatrical cartoons.


I love the black and white Fleischer Popeye cartoons. I especially love the ones that they made before they moved to Florida in the late 1930s. There are a miriad of reasons why I love these cartoons and most of them can be seen in Lost And Foundry.

Firstly, the backgrounds that the Flesichers used were just beautiful, whether they were using the 3D table top backgrounds or the more traditional cel painted backgrounds.

The voice work and chemistry of the actors was terrific. You can tell that Jack Mercer and Mae Questel and Gus Wickie (Bluto, who is not featured in this cartoon) are enjoying themselves and the under the breath mutterings that they do are so hilarious. The later Fleischer cartoons and early Famous Popeyes don’t have the same chemistry, probably because Questel did not move to Florida with the Fleischer studio, and Wickie’s untimely death. However once they got back to New York and Questel rejoined Mercer, and Jackson Beck took over as Bluto, that chemistry returned (too bad the quality of the cartoons had gone down at that stage!).

The cartoons weren’t just about Popeye and Bluto beating the crap out of each other. Even the most formulaic of Fleischer cartoons were really interesting and the Fleischer always tried to be innovative.