Seymour Kneitel (Seymour Kneitel)

Seymour Kneitel

In 1928, Seymour 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 Seymour 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, Buchwald and Sparber ran Famous Studios for eleven years (1942–1953), after which Paramount Pictures subsidized the studio, and Kneitel was employed as director of production. Kneitel himself had become one of the most prolific directors of the Popeyeshorts and also directed many of the Casper the Friendly Ghost shorts. Famous Studios also created a series called Noveltoons that included the three popular series; Casper the Friendly Ghost, Herman and Katnip and Baby Huey. In the summer of 1957, Paramount ceased production of theatrical Popeye shorts. King Features Syndicate, aware of the high ratings that the Popeye shorts had earned on television, commissioned a new series of Popeye shorts for syndication in 1960. Seymour Kneitel, head of the Paramount Cartoon Studios (renamed from Famous Studios in 1956), supervised one of four animation units assigned to this project. Due to the usage of limited animation, the quality of these films are inferior to those produced by the Fleischer and 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).


  • March, 16, 1908
  • USA
  • New York, New York


  • July, 30, 1964
  • USA
  • New York, New York

Cause of Death

  • heart attack


  • Mount Lebanon Cemetery
  • Glendale, California
  • USA

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