Max Fleischer, Art 1900

Fleischer-Max-1Max Fleischer, Art 1900, was an innovator in the early days of the cartoon industry.  He immigrated to New York City from Austria while a young boy.  He attended NYC public Schools, The Cooper Union an the Mechanics and Tradesmen school.

He began his professional career as an illustrator and editor for Popular Science magazine in 1914. In 1917, Max Fleischer was granted a patent for the rotoscope, a mechanism used for transferring live action film into animated cartoon through tracing. Max and his brother Dave were the firsts to synchronize their cartoons to the music of cinematic orchestral arrangements. His cartoon “Song Car-Tune,” produced in 1924, was the first cartoon with a soundtrack. In 1930 Fleisher introduced the first female cartoon star, Betty Boop, and in 1933 he adapted a character from E. C. Segar’s “Thimble Theater” comic strip and Betty Boop Presents Popeye the Sailor had its debut. The Fleischers premiered the first Superman short in 1941.

Max Fleischer went on to direct films,  including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Dr. Doolittle, and The Jazz Singer. Fleischer later worked as production chief of cartooning for Paramount Pictures until he retired in the 1960s. He died in 1972 in California.

Link to Max Fleisher Cartoons

Max  Fleisher was inducted into the Cooper Hall of Fame in 2009.


Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement, Vol. 22. Gale Group, 2002.

Info Please Biographies by Who2, 2015:  Link

TV Tropes– David and Max Fleisher: Link

MAX FLEISCHER, CARTOONIST, 89; Creator of ‘Inkwell’ Is Dead. Invented Film Devices, NY Times, 9/12/1972