Monday, December 26, 2022

How Fleischer Studios Made Cartoons

In 1938, Fleischer Studios produced this short documentary showing how they made animated cartoons. 

The Florida-based studio that popularized Popeye and Betty Boop resembled the Disney process in using painted cels, but there were important differences, too. Fleischer innovated the rotating 3D backgrounds, and they typically recorded the character voices after the animation was completed.

At the YouTube channel Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored they've got a lot of beautifully restored cartoons, and the Tested channel explored how the restoration process works.

(Link to YouTube)


--J-- said...

Wonder what became of all that equipment!--jwarde

Billy Hogan said...

I love any how-to documentary. My favorite Fleischer Studio cartoons were their Superman series.

Pierre Fontaine said...

I was always completely fascinated by the dimensional backgrounds used in some of the Fleischer cartoons. If these backgrounds were stationary they could pass for a well executed background painting. The illusion of a dimensional painting were a result of these models being painted and lit in a way that mimicked a painted background. I've always wondered if any of these sets and models have survived.

It's also interesting to see that the Fleischers used a vertical camera platen which allowed the dimensional backgrounds to be placed behind the animation artwork. The amount of light needed to keep everything in focus with the proper depth of field must have been very intense! Certainly Disney encountered similar problems with their multi-plane camera but it's fascinating to see how both studios brought a sense of dimension to their animated films.