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Review of the book Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution, by Richard Fleischer

First printing: 2005

This delightful little book goes a long way towards filling the gap where the dearth of biographies concerning the Fleischer Brothersí work is concerned. Richard Fleischer, an accomplished film director in his own right (Fantastic Voyage, Soylent Green) gives a very detailed but breezy history of the Fleischer Bros.í film work and their unfortunate break-up after decades of working together on ground-breaking theatrical cartoons.

The sweet bonus of this particular biography is that Richard is Maxís son. And, far from being a Mommie Dearest-type book with an axe to grind against a famous parent, Richard happily recounts how his fatherís fame brought many perks and much happiness to his life. Besides his fatherís film work, Richard relates many enjoyable anecdotes about life in the Fleischer household, and how his parentsí earthy sense of humor was reflected in his fatherís remarkable cartoons.

This is the all-too-rare film biography that is just as enjoyable and fun as its subject matter. Fleischer and animation buffs, as well as casual cartoon viewers, should savor this book.

My rating:

© 2010, Steve Bailey.

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