Hollywood Movies

Hollywood’s Most Unlikely Duo Is Teaming Up To Save Classic Cartoons From Destruction

April 18, 20242 Mins Read

One might not think that Scorsese and MacFarlane would be a good match, but both men have a deep appreciation for animation, and both want to make sure classic cartoons remain available to the public. MacFarlane, the press release points out, studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design, and is responsible for “Family Guy,” one of the longest-running animated shows in history. MacFarlane is also an open lover of cinema, enthused about old classics and pop entertainment with equal fervor. 

In particular, MacFarlane is a fan of Max and Dave Fleischer, among the more prominent animators of the 1920s and 1930s. Fleischer Studios conducted notable (and sadly lost) animation experiments in the late ’10s, moving into more commercial fare in the early ’20s. The Fleichers oversaw the production of Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Popeye, and Superman cartoons. Many may be familiar with Max Fleischer’s Betty Boop cartoon/Cab Calloway music video “Minnie the Moocher” from 1932, or perhaps “St. James Infirmary Blues” from 1933. MacFarlane has also long been an aficionado of jazz and the American Songbook, and a lot of the Fleischer filmography ties directly into that era. 

About the collaboration, Scorsese said:

“I’m so grateful to Seth MacFarlane for his enthusiasm and his support on these restorations. […] What an astonishing experience, to see these remarkable pictures that I experienced for the first time as a child brought back to their full glory. Imagine the reactions of children today! Because the films now seem as fresh as they did when they were newly made.” 

MacFarlane added: 

“The work Martin Scorsese and his Film Foundation have been doing is essential cinematic preservation. I’m honored to partner with them in restoring their first-ever collection of storied animation.”


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