The Dead Animators Society
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In 1898 when Georges Méliès animated the letters of the alphabet for an advertising film, he was perhaps the first person to make an object move on film utilizing animation. A magician by trade, the prolific Méliès approached filmmaking as an opportunity to present the fantastic which he did in such films as A Trip to the Moon (1902).

Georges Méliès: I don't have anything to say to you about your state of the animation art today. I was a filmmaker and that's all. I didn't stop to ask, "What is this thing I'm doing -- is it animation, or is it art?" I was telling a story using a new medium and we didn't have as many tricks back then, only ingenuity. We had to be very careful in our work not to establish any false fronts, or anything that the audience wouldn't recognize, for remember that in those days you had a very naive audience for whom all of this cinema was as new to them as to we filmmakers. We went along like kids, without any plans except the rough concept, and then we made films. Today, I am very proud to find that I have become an icon in the world of cinema for my "play," for I was having as much fun as anyone ever had. It was a very exciting time, only for the bit of frustration in not being able to achieve all of our goals, but I imagine this is the same now, to some extent. What we said was, "With this new, miraculous medium, what can we portray that will be as exciting as the medium itself?" and "How can we stretch the imagination to behold the things that man has always held in the imagination as desirable yet virtually impossible?" If you insist upon asking what I think of the current cinema, I have to say that I am unaware, except in a general capacity, of any specific films as I do not watch them. I am more concerned with the emotions and the plays -- the human dramas -- that unfold for live people in their daily lives. If you ask what sort of activities I am engaged in, there is a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from watching over the global conflicts with great interest and some trepidation, and in working with those individuals who need my assistance. I do not teach film history or acting classes, and I am not interested in cartoon animation. I am interested in helping people to realize the entanglements through egoic gratification that ensnare them causing negative results, that I may help them to understand these things. I was a very negative person in my life, a rather imperious man who really felt I was the king of the heap, and from there I have had to question these assumptions and "come down to earth," if you will, even from my stand on high.

From creating the Out of the Inkwell series in 1919, featuring Koko the clown, to founding the Fleischer Studio with his brothers, Max Fleischer was a leader in animation inventing the rotoscope, fiddling with sound and other technical innovations, as well as introducing the world to the likes of Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor Man.

Max Fleischer: I want to thank you, Leslie for writing my biography. My son may not be happy with it because he doesn't share my expanded world view, my ability to forgive and forget, and all that I've learned here since I arrived. I no longer am capable of holding grudges, for I understand the world to be much broader than even I gave it credit for previously. I no longer hold to a finite perception of absolutes. I see many variables, many options and opinions. I am grateful that you told our story in your book and that it helped inspire a new generation of appreciation. Also, you must know that all of your Betty Boop work has been appreciated as it has brought money into the Fleischer coffers.

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