July 19, 1883, is the birthdate of Max Fleischer, maker of the first animated film with sound and, with his brother Dave, one of the great – if today largely forgotten – pioneers of the art form. Among the most well-known cartoon characters to emerge from Fleischer Studios, in the 1930s, were Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor.
Max Fleischer was the second-born of the six children of William...