The "Standard Production Reference"

Here's a complete copy of the Standard Production Reference.

This document, often referred to as The Bible, was created at Fleischer Studios circa 1940. It was developed by Seymour Kneitel and Izzy Sparber for the use of “animator’s and their assistants.” Originally intended for Fleischer Studios staff it continued in use as the official manual of the successor studio, Famous Studios. The need for such a document shows how complex the industry had become since the animated films of the early 1900’s. Film historian Fraser MacLean has told me of similar in-house documents developed by other studios including Disney and Hanna-Barbera.

The Fleischer's Standard Production Reference is sixty-one pages long and covers a wealth of detail on animation production practices in use at that time and reflects the broad knowledge required of an animator. Since ‘The Bible’ was such an excellent guide to animation in general it was often used as a reference by other animation studios.

Animation historian Mark Langer notes “… the Standard Production Reference later became a guide by which other animation companies were organized or by which they regularized production….. For at least thirty seven years after the demise of the Fleischer Studios, “The Bible” was the most commonly used reference work within New York animation studios.”

BTW you can click on individual pages to enlarge for ease of reading. (Note: there is no P. 23)

Reference material:
See posts on this Blog January 2012
Article: Institutional Power and the Fleischer Studios: The Standard Production Reference, by Mark Langer: Cinema Journal, University of Texas Press, Vol. 30, No.2 (Winter, 1991)

Label: Collection of J.J. Sedelmaier.
THIS JUST IN! J.J. Sedelmaier noticed I was missing the label on the cover – and sent me a scan of his label. What a gift! Now I know for certain the year it was first officially distributed…1940. Thanks J.J.!



  1. THANKS for posting this piece of animation history!!! And thanks for your previous and future posts--so nice of you to share.


  2. This is an extraordinary gift to your readers!

  3. This is absolutely incredible to have an inside, historical look at both the Fleischer Studios and Animation. It truly is a special treat. Thank you so much for sharing!! - - - nak

  4. Page 23 seems to be missing.