Fleischer’s Bell Telephone films Fleischer’s Bell Telephone films

Okay, here’s another post for the animation historians.

Animation pioneer Max Fleischer was an inventor and he was passionate about science and modern technology. When his cartoon studio became established in the 1920s he created several educational films for various clients – not to mention extra-length films devoted to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (both in 1923). Many of these industrial films are lost.

AT&T has dug into its archives an unearthed a pair of sponsored films Bell Telephone commissioned from the Fleischer studio. Fleischer actually produced four nontheatrical titles for the phone company (How the Telephone Talks, 1924; That Little Big Fellow, 1927; Now You’re Talking, 1927 and Finding His Voice in 1929), but AT&T has posted two. Both are pretty rare – I’d never seen That Little Big Fellow myself. They are meant to educate and inform, and are not as inventive (or comedic) as the Koko the Clown theatrical shorts, but are fascinating nonetheless.

So, if you want to learn a little about the science of telecommunications in the 1920s, here are two of Fleischer’s finest. Thank you AT&T.

Jerry Beck

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