Be a part of animation history. Adopt a Fleischer cartoon and help preserve the work of animation pioneer Max Fleischer!
Project type: Animation
Project status: Restoration
Producer: Jane Fleischer Reid
Supervising Director: Max Reid
Restoration Supervisor: Steve Stanchfield
Lead Restorer: Thad Komorowski
Color Restorer: Jack Theakston
Presentations: Mauricio Alvarado
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My name is Jane Fleischer Reid. I’m Max Fleischer’s granddaughter.
No single collection of the cartoons made by Max Fleischer and Fleischer Studios exists anywhere in the world. My mission is to collect all the cartoons, restore them, and make them available to everyone.
Max Fleischer is one of the most renown pioneers in animation history. From 1919 to 1942, he and his company, Fleischer Studios, produced nearly 700 cartoons. Among his many achievements, he created the iconic Betty Boop, who remains a significant part of American culture to this day. His studio was also the first to animate both Popeye and Superman.
Sadly, many of Fleischer’s cartoons have been forgotten. We fear that some have already been entirely lost to history. Of those that remain, many are in poor condition, decaying in archives and private collections all over the world.
There is no single archive where all the cartoons can be found. Anyone wanting to see these groundbreaking creations must search all over the internet. What one finds are battered and scratched prints, most of very poor quality, some even have sequences missing.
Our goal is to locate as many of the cartoons as possible, scan them, restore them, and gather them into a single collection. We have about 50 already in the restoration process. The Film Foundation is working on 10 films for us. The rest are being restored by Steve Stanchfield, Thad Komorowski and Jack Theakston. 20 have been fully restored (missing only music) and 20 more are in progress.
Along with setting up screenings, the films will ultimately be placed in archives to be preserved and made available to everyone.
Meet the Filmmakers
Jane Fleischer Reid – Producer
After a 25-year career as an attorney in Los Angeles and Sonoma County, Jane has undertaken the formidable task of reconstructing her grandfather’s cartoon library.
Granddaughter of Max Fleischer, daughter of motion picture director Richard Fleischer, and married to filmmaker Max Reid, Jane has a long history in the film industry. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Fleischer Studios, Inc.
Max Reid – Supervising Director
Max Reid graduated from UCLA with an MFA. His thesis film LA Eats was very successful and kicked off a string of comic health documentaries. During the same years, Max worked as a cameraman on documentary films, two of which were nominated for Oscars.
He directed his first feature, Wild Thing for Atlantic Releasing. It featured Kathleen Quinlan. He later directed Teen Angel produced by Disney Television. It featured Jason Priestly in his first nationally distributed film. Max produced Rescue 911 documentary re-enactments. He also did similar short magazine shows for CBS and NBC. He directed In the Eye of the Snake a Swiss-French production starring Malcolm McDowell. It was shot in Switzerland and Burundi in English, French, Swahili, and Kirundi.
Steve Stanchfield – Restoration Supervisor
Steve Stanchfield is a full time assistant professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, where he teaches animation and animation history. He’s worked as an animation director and animator for Media Station, Disney, Warner Brothers, Hasbro, Mattel and many others. Stanchfield also runs Thunderbean Animation, restoring classic animated films, working with UCLA Film and Television Archives, The Library of Congress and others. This work involves both physical and digital restoration of film elements. Other clients in this field include Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal, HBO, Turner Classic Movies, the History Channel and Funny or Die.
Thad Komorowski – Lead Restorer
Thad Komorowski is a lifelong student and researcher of the classic animated cartoon and operates his own film restoration company, Cineaste Restoration. He is the author of Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story, and co-author of a forthcoming history of New York City studio animation.
Jack Theakston – Color Restorer
With over 20 years in the film industry, Jack has worked nearly every aspect of the film industry from usher to archivist. He knows how to run a theater, put on a show, find a rare film and, most importantly, restore that rare film. For the last 10 years, he has worked at the 3D Film Archive, restoring and licensing stereoscopic motion pictures. A complete list of Jack’s work experience can be found on Linkedin at Jack Theakston.
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