Tuesday, May 22, 2012


My dad was always in an animation state of mind. He didn’t turn it off when he came home at night.  He would get hysterical over a good ‘gag’ or joke  (before the days of e-mail good jokes were widely shared in person with the re-telling of it a craft in itself). Sitting at the dinner table was an occasion for dad to gather input from the family for anything he might use at work. In fact, if we suggested a corny cartoon title that was used, we could earn five dollars!  This generated a lot of hackneyed one-ups-manship between my two brothers, mother and myself. My brother Tommy swore he came up with the idea for the character ‘Goodie the Gremlin’ and he never got paid!! (Goodie starred in four Noveltoons, the first appeared in 1961.)

In addition, all kinds of life events were acknowledged with  one of a kind creations.  Here’s a selection of some of these unique drawings made by my dad, Seymour Kneitel. 
I especially like the one above made for my mother… it shows that humor at our house was neither high-class nor subtle.

A Valentine for my mother has a bit of a spelling problem, but love the sentiment.  In 1937, while Seymour was working for Fleischer Studios, the studio relocated to Florida. During and after that re-location there were many times when one of my parents might be in New York and the other in Florida.  Besides several separations during the complex New York to Florida move, there were a number of film production activities not supported in Florida that required Fleischer staff traveling to New York.

Envelopes and letters were great places for a drawing...

The P.S. in the letter “Give my regards to Bimbo” is a reference to a real life dog they had called Bimbo.

These last three drawings are all on Fleischer Studios animation paper.  When these drawings were done, animation studios each had their own preference as to the size of the paper, the type of paper, and the system of holes at the top that held the paper in place.  Details such as these can be useful in identifying from which studio a drawing might have originated.  The drawings below were made between 1931 and about 1938 during the time Fleischer Studios used this distinctive paper... 8.5” x 11” sheets punched with three holes at the top that fit their unique animation peg system. This paper was made specifically for them by Hammermill and is watermarked ‘Management Bond.’

This drawing on Fleischer animation paper looks like they’re temporarily separated again!

This must refer to changes around the house after the birth of first son, Tommy… which would date this and the drawing below about Feb. 1934.

Here's a sketch made about the same time.. interesting to speculate on where he was going with this...

I back-lit and enlarged one of the drawings (below) to show the ‘Management Bond’ watermark.  The Fleischer’s continued to use this type of paper until about 1938 during the making of Gulliver’s Travels.

All items, letters, envelopes, drawing in this section: Collection of V. Mahoney


  1. Disney used the same brand of paper for their productions during the 30's too.

    1. That's really interesting,,, but I think only the Fleischers used that particular arrangement for the pegs holes at the top. And I think before they started using this paper in 1931 they were using 'Old Badger Bond.' That whole paper business is pretty interesting and I'd like to know more about it...

  2. The MGM cartoon studio used "Hammermill Bond" paper in the 1940's. I saw a Tom & Jerry drawing with that watermark on display at the Tampa Museum of Art nearly 20 years ago.

    1. Makes me wonder if Hammermill has an inhouse archives on the various animation papers they supplied to the studios in the '30's and 40's... would be an interesting bit of research...

  3. Hammermill paper seemed to be animation standard at least into 1960's, as I've seen several Hanna-Barbera drawings/sketches with "Management Bond - A Hammermill Product" watermark as well.

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