Out Of The Inkwell: Max Fleischer And The Animation Revolution (英語) ハードカバー – 2005/6/24
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Max Fleischer (1883--1972) was for years considered Walt Disney's only real rival in the world of cartoon animation. The man behind the creation of such legendary characters as Betty Boop and the animation of Popeye the Sailor and Superman, Fleischer asserted himself as a major player in the development of Hollywood entertainment. Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution is a vivid portrait of the life and world of a man who shaped the look of cartoon animation. Also interested in technical innovation, Fleischer invented the rotoscope -- a device that helped track live action and allowed his cartoons to revolutionize the way animated characters appeared and moved on-screen. In the 1920s, Fleischer created a series of "Out of the Inkwell" films, which led to a deal with Paramount. Their character KoKo the Clown introduced new animation effects by growing out of Fleischer's pen on-screen. As the sound revolution hit film, the studio produced shorts featuring the characters interacting with songs and with the now-famous bouncing ball that dances across lyrics projected on the screen. Max Fleischer's story is also one of a creative genius struggling to fit in with the changing culture of golden age cinema. Out of the Inkwell captures the twists and turns, the triumphs and disappointments, and most of all the breathless energy of a life vibrantly lived in the world of animation magic.
""A precious record of an important animation pioneer." -- Animation" --
""A primary piece of history that tells the story of an unexplored but vital figure in animation's short history." -- Palm Beach Post" --
""A short, informal and highly--do we dare?--animated history" -- Barnstable Patriot" --
""A vivid portrait of the life and world of a man who shaped television animation and became a major player in the development of Hollywood entertainment." -- Animation Magazine" --
""A wonderful read and a tribute by a son to a famous father." -- Umbrella" --
""Besides creating the jazz-age siren Betty Boop and bring Popeye and Superman to the screen, Max invented the rotoscope, a process for creating animated cartoons by tracing live-action footage.... [A] lively memoir." -- Booklist" --
""Fleischer captures the life and career and other talented family members this succinct, anecdote-filled biography. This book deserves a wide readership. Highly recommended." -- Choice" --
""Max Fleischer is animation's unsung hero. If Walt Disney is the most celebrated and chronicled producer in the history of the medium, Fleischer is his polar opposite. Fleischer has long been a hero to anyone who loves animated cartoons. Now, thanks to his son, we can get to know the very human figure behind all those wonderful films." --Leonard Maltin, from the foreword" --
""Max Fleischer, the main Hollywood rival of Walt Disney, finally gets his due." -- Dallas Morning News" --
""Richard Fleischer has brought a loving tribute to his dad, and a reminder, in times where computer animation seems so effortless, of just how much hard work it took for the pioneers in the field to make the drawings dance." -- Times of Acadiana" --
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After I got over my anger over being ripped off, I discovered that, according to the author, Max Fleischer was by far the greatest person who ever lived. Everyone who meets him wants to have babies with him. His masterful inventions put Edison to shame and get him followed by ecstatic crowds. Every one of his cartoons was a triumph of amazing genius that got standing ovations and sold out theaters for months. Even today, 80 years later, he has millions of fans, who, on their death beds, will testify that the greatest experience of their life was...watching a Betty Boop cartoon.
Ok, but instead of just praising Fleischer to heaven and back, why not analyze a few of the cartoons, to explain why, exactly, they are the greatest artistic works of human history?
I have really enjoyed reading the perspective of a son remembering the life of his beloved father.
Several things I learned reading this book:
Max was a fan of the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Max liked the play, R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)
Max was a brilliant and rather prolific inventor
Max loved dirty and dingy drugstores apparently for their atmosphere and chocolate ice cream treats.
The book is a must read for any Fleischer fan. I must admit, I was quite captivated reading the history, not so much of Fleischer studios, but Max the man as told from the perspective of his son. Max's story is an exciting one that I found poignant at times. His son has done a worthy and honest tribute to his father.
This evening, in honor of Max Fleischer, we are screening vintage Betty Boop cartoons. What better way to end the reading of a biography of a great man than with a screening of his greatest creation?!
Max Fleischer was the genuine article. He created Koko the Clown, Betty Boop and "follow the bouncing ball" and brought them lovingly to life on the big screen. His studio also produced the Popeye the Sailor and Superman cartoon shorts. He was an extraordinary inventor who held patents on a number of revolutionary filmmaking gadgets and gizmos. Though he inspired uncommon respect and loyalty from those in his employ, he was not a great businessman. Max was an honest and far too trusting man, who unwittingly got into bed with those nefarious folks at Paramount.
This is a great unfilmed Hollywood story, one I'd love to see brought to the big screen by Francis Ford Coppola (a la "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" - the two stories have much in common). Max Fleischer's life story is filled with drama and passion. He was an uncommon man of talent and ambition. His was an American dream that came true, and then became a nghtmare. Still, through it all, he remained optimistic. Bravo Max, and bravo Richard Fleischer for telling your father's story with such care.