Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Minnie the Moocher: Max Fleischer Forever!

-A Mel Toast Afternoon Fuc*ing Around Exclusive-

Chicago, IL -- Max Fleischer was the greatest cartoonist in history. Ever.

In the 1920's and 30's, Max Fleischer was the go-to guy for wonderfully "twisted" cartoon animation. He grew up in Brooklyn, and received commercial art training at Cooper Union as well as at the Mechanics and Tradesman's School.

Fleischer produced many technically advanced and sophisticated animated films. Several of his cartoons had soundtracks featuring live or rotoscoped images of the leading jazz performers of the time, most notably two of my favorite, all time greats, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong.

"She messed around with a bloke named Smokey
She loved him, though he was coke-y
He took her down to Chinatown
And he showed her how to kick the gong around."

Fleischer's cartoons were also very different from contemporary Disney's, since the content and realization of both producer's cartoons was so vastly different; though both Disney and Fleischer used a lot of jazz in their cartoons, Fleischer's approach was more "sophisticated" as the evolution of Betty Boop underwent changes:

"While the production of the cartoons had become more refined with more structured stories, the level of the content was more juvenile, largely influenced by Paramount's front office, which was changing the tone of their films to reflect a more family-oriented audience by producing films more of the nature of MGM. Betty became a spinster career girl and maiden aunt character becoming more of a judgmental "good citizine" instead of the carefree Jazz Baby she once was. As a result, "Betty Boop" lost much of her audience appeal, and the era and musical style that she represented had already faded away with the coming of the Swing Era."

Enjoy Betty Boop, Cab Calloway and his Orchestra's scat filled, crazy and timeless stamp on what unhinged and creative artistic expression looks like.


Melvin Toast


Patrick said...

Thanks 2T. Always loved Betty Boop AND Cab Calloway!!

2Truthy said...

Fleischer was one talented, crazy genius, Mel. The family values folks and his cartoonist contemporary Walt Disney got Disneyworld and Fleischer got Betty Boop's Vegas. Eh, all is fair in turf wars.