Disney, Iwerks, and Fleischer in the 1930s

Thursday, February 10, 2011, 1:30 p.m.

Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

Following up on our survey of early animation last June, this program highlights three of the key figures in animation during the ensuing decade. By the 1930s Walt Disney and Max Fleischer had their own studios, although most of the creative labor was left to subordinates. However, unlike the live-action Hollywood studio moguls, Disney and Fleischer found ways to put their own, personal stamp on the films they produced: Disney’s reflected traditional “WASP-ish,” middle-American values; Fleischer was Jewish, very New York, and subversive. Disney generally leaned toward anthropomorphic animals like Mickey Mouse; Fleischer preferred (more-or-less) human characters who, like Betty Boop, were short on inhibitions. Films by Mickey Mouse progenitor Ub Iwerks, who worked independently for a few years between stints with Disney, are also included, and it seems clear that Iwerks’s personal proclivities fell somewhere in between his two more famous peers. All films are from the U.S., and producing credits are indicated by last name.
Dizzy Red Riding Hood. 1931. Fleischer. 7 min.
The Mad Doctor. 1933. Disney. 5 min.
Minnie the Moocher. 1932. Fleischer. 8 min.
The Three Little Pigs. 1933. Disney. 9 min.
Snow White. 1933. Fleischer. 7 min.
Stratos Fear. 1933. Iwerks. 6 min.
The Headless Horseman. 1934. Iwerks. 8 min.
Little Black Sambo. 1935. Iwerks. 7 min.
Mickey’s Garden. 1935. Disney. 8 min.
Song of the Birds. 1935. Fleischer. 7 min.
The Brave Little Tailor. 1938. Disney. 8 min.
Betty Boop and Grampy. 1935. Fleischer. 9 min.
The Ugly Duckling. 1939. Disney. 9 min.
Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves. 1937. Fleischer. 17 min.

In the Film exhibition An Auteurist History of Film

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