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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

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Famous Studios/Seymour Kneitel

Discussion in 'Fleischer / Famous Studios' started by Dave Koch, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

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    Does anyone have any info on Famous Studios (the cartoon studio that created Casper the Ghost, Herman and Katnip, Little Audrey and Baby Huey) and the man who ran it, Seymour Kneitel?

    I know Kneitel was the son-in-law of Max Fleischer and worked at the Fleischer studio before Paramount took it over and placed him in charge. I hear he wasn't very creative (which would explain the mediocre output of Famous) and that the cartoons were actually directed by the head animators (in addition to their animation duties). But does anyone know how the animators felt about Knietel or what type of person he was?

    Thanks in advance for any information posted.
  2. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Howdy, Dave!

    Seymour Kneitel spent his entire adult life in the animation industy. He was a talented animator who was creatively involved in hundreds of Fleischer cartoons. Kneitel died of a heart-attack in 1964 at the relatively young age of 56. As production head for Famous Studios from 1942-1953 he was not so talented. He left most of the creative innovations and new character design to others within the studio. After 1953 he was responsible for directing scores of bouncing-ball cartoons and some of worst of the later Popeye cartoons. His main concern at Famous Studios was churning out cartoons on time and under budget. He was not disliked, nor extremely well-liked by the staff at Famous. For a younger producer he was considered "old-school" and had a fear of trying anything new. This frustrated the animators and many left for greener pastures. For example, Joe Oriolo fought for years to bring back a modern version of Felix the Cat. Finally he had to leave and do it himself on television.

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