Out of the Inkwell

Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution
Narrated by: Gary Galone
Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Max Fleischer (1883-1972) was for years considered Walt Disney's only real rival in the world of cartoon animation. The man behind the creation of such legendary characters as Betty Boop and the animation of Popeye the Sailor and Superman, Fleischer asserted himself as a major player in the development of Hollywood entertainment. Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution is a vivid portrait of the life and world of a man who shaped the look of cartoon animation. Also interested in technical innovation, Fleischer invented the rotoscope - a device that helped track live action and allowed his cartoons to revolutionize the way animated characters appeared and moved on-screen. 

In the 1920s, Fleischer created a series of "Out of the Inkwell" films, which led to a deal with Paramount. Their character Koko the Clown introduced new animation effects by growing out of Fleischer's pen on screen. As the sound revolution hit film, the studio produced shorts featuring the characters interacting with songs and with the now-famous bouncing ball that dances across lyrics projected on the screen. 

Max Fleischer's story is also one of a creative genius struggling to fit in with the changing culture of Golden Age cinema. Out of the Inkwell captures the twists and turns, the triumphs and disappointments, and most of all, the breathless energy of a life vibrantly lived in the world of animation magic.

The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2005 Richard Fleisher (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A vivid portrait of the life and world of a man who shaped television animation and became a major player in the development of Hollywood entertainment." (Animation Magazine

"A primary piece of history that tells the story of an unexplored but vital figure in animation's short history." (Palm Beach Post

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Tl;dr very interesting, would recommend, slight bias, TW suicide mention in book

This was a very interesting listen! It was a lot of fun and I would recommend if interested in animation or film history. Only drawback being it was written by Max Fleischers son and thus has a bias towards him. Probably not the full picture but gives a good grasp. Some weird writing choices here and there but super fascinating. TW for suicide mention in chapters about the mother.

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Rose Glasses Make for Bad Biography

This book reads like an assignment for a 6th grader to write about his family history. With little information that couldn't be gotten from Wikipedia and even less insight, Richard Fleischer fails as much in his prose as in his research. Wouldn't have finished this if I wasn't shooting for 25 books this year, and this one was so short that by the time I'd given up it was nearly over.