Friday, November 27, 2015

The First American Long-Form Cartoon

We're not talking Snow White here, but this:

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor was released 79 years ago today. ...

Sinbad was the first of three Technicolor featurettes made by Dave and Max Fleischer, back when they were in hot and heavy competition with Walt Disney Productions. (Disney's exclusive use of full-spectrum color had ended the year before.)

All three Popeye specials are public domain now, but they hold up well. And this first, before the 1937 strike, before the Fleischer Studios' relocation from New York City to sun-kissed Miami (which was a contributing factor in the studio's ultimate demise), can be considered part of the high-water mark for two animation pioneers who, by rights, should be remembered more than they are.

It wasn't just about Walt Disney, after all. It was also about Max and Dave.

H/t -- President Emeritus Tom Sito.


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