Seymour Kneitel

Seymour Kneitel
Seymour Kneitel


Seymour Kneitel

Seymour Kneitel (March 16, 1908 – July 30, 1964) was an American animator born in New York City and was best known for his work with the Fleischer Studios. After the death of his father, Kneitel needed work to support his mother and sister, he attended the High School of Commence and took art classes on the side. After he graduated he was able to find employment with L.F. Cornwell. He began as an office boy and within a year was one of their three animators. From 1925 to 1927, he sometimes worked at Max Fleischer's "Out of the Inkwell" Studio, and was there for two years when he was offered an opportunity to go to MGM Studios in California as a junior writer. n 1928, Kneitel returned to Fleischer Studios as an inbetweener, staying there for fourteen years (1928–1942), He was there only about six months when he became an animator, and a year later became a head animator. During his time there he provided animation for many films, including the Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor series, Talkartoons, Screen Songs (with the famous "bouncing ball"), and the studio's first feature-length film, Gulliver's Travels. In early 1939, Kneitel suffered a heart attack, and was absent from the studio until late 1941. Kneitel returned just when Fleischer obtained the right to animate Superman. Kneitel wrote several Superman episodes with Isadore (Izzy) Sparber, and directed one short, The Mechanical Monsters (1941). In January 1942, the Fleischer brothers were forced to resign from the studio they had created; they had borrowed money from Paramount between 1938 and 1941 to finance their expanded Miami facilities and two feature films. After the failure of their second feature, Mister Bug Goes to Town, the studio called in their loans, effectively foreclosing the studio. The successor studio was re-formed by Kneitel, Sam Buchwald and Isadore Sparber and renamed it Famous Studios.


  • Kneitel died of a heart attack on July 30, 1964. Three years later, Paramount shut down their animation studio. Kneitel's last cartoon credit was Space Kid (1966).


  • He  married Max Fleischer's daughter Ruth Fleischer, making him Max Fleischer's son-in-law and director Richard Fleischer's brother-in-law.
  • He was also the nephew of musician Sammy Timberg, who wrote many of the scores for Fleischer's cartoons.
  • Seymour Kneitel also had a cousin Abner Kneitel, who was the animator and assistant animator for Fleischers and Famous from 1935 to 1944.


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