Restoring Classic Max Fleischer Cartoons

Max Fleischer was a pioneer of animated cartoons, created the character of Betty Boop, invented the rotoscope, introduced the “follow the bouncing ball” device for sing-along in film, and produced the first Popeye and Superman cartoons.

Unlike the properties of major studios, the master copies of Fleischer’s work were not carefully preserved, and many classics of his work have to be put together from projection copies with many splices, scratches, and dirt from scattered material in the collections of film buffs. This video explains how Blackhawk Films is scanning, processing, and restoring Fleischer’s work.

The Fabulous Fleischer Cartoons Restored! YouTube channel features a collection of the restored cartoons.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Flesicher’s “The Cobweb Hotel” showing the 16 mm print most people have seen and the restoration from the original camera negative.