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Fleischer Cartoons: The Art and Inventions of Max Fleischer

March 07, 2024 – March 13, 2024

The Museum of Modern Art

As America approaches 100 years as an animation powerhouse, MoMA is thrilled to present a comprehensive survey of classic cartoons by the Fleischer Brothers, most famous for their Jazz Age creations Betty Boop and Koko the Clown as well as their wildly popular screen adaptations of E.C. Segar’s Popeye and DC Comics’ Superman. This retrospective will include family-friendly matinees, but also programs historical (spotlighting Max Fleischer’s very early Koko the Clown silents, which famously combined live-action hijinks with hand-drawn animation) and thematic, all too appropriate given the Fleischers’ merciless sense of humor and profound eye for anything phantasmagorical and transgressive – including sound-era triumphs like the Betty Boop headliner Minnie the Moocher, featuring a ferocious rotoscoped performance from Cab Calloway, or the Technicolor two-reeler masterpiece Popeye The Sailor Man Meets Sindbad the Sailor Man. Much of the material in Fleischer Cartoons draws from a wealth of new 4K restorations supervised by Max Fleischer’s granddaughter Jane Fleischer Reid, many of which will be making their world premieres at MoMA.

 

Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, with Steve Macfarlane, Department Assistant, Department of Film. Special thanks to Jane Fleisher Reid and Mauricio Alvarado.

 

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black, with major contributions from the Triad Foundation, Inc., The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Young Patrons Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and by Karen and Gary Winnick.

Press Kit

Images

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Max Fleischer and Bimbo, 1930s. Image courtesy of Alamy.

The Runaway. 1924. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Play Safe. 1936. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Any Rags?. 1932. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Koko’s Kozy Korner. 1928. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Mask-a-Raid. 1932. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Poor Cinderella. 1934. Directed by Dave Fleischer, Seymour Kneitel. Courtesy of Fleischer Cartoons Restored.

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor. 1936. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Small Fry. 1939. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Swing You Sinners! 1930. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

The Old Man of the Mountain. 1933. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

The Bum Bandit. 1931. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.

Somewhere in Dreamland. 1936. Directed by Dave Fleischer, produced by Max Fleischer. Courtesy of FleischerToons.