Aesop’s Fables Studio
Aesop's Fables StudioAlso known as:
Van Beuren StudiosFounded:
Aesop’s Fables Studio was a small animation studio. Aesop’s Fables Studio was founded by Paul Terry in 1920 with financial support from the Keith-Albee vaudeville team in order to produce a series of animated shorts called Aesop’s Film Fables. The series became extremely popular in the 1920s. Terry owned a ten-percent share in the company while the remaining ninety-percent owned by Keith-Albee. The first cartoon was released on June 19, 1921 and more followed at a rate of one cartoon finished per week. The company still used cells, instead of the cheaper paper, insisting that they could save money as long as they were wiped cleaned and reused after the cartoon was finished. Terry helped to established an efficient industrial cartoon practice in the studio. Terry’s characters were often simple designs that transferred onto cells easily. Their cartoons inspired Walt Disney who said “Even as late as 1930 my ambition was to be able to make cartons as good as the Aesop’s Fables series”. In 1928, Keith-Albee sold its shares to Amadee J. Van Beuren, who soon decided to make the series with sound. This decision led to an argument with Terry, who did not want to spend additional resources on sound. This disagreement forced Terry to leave Aesop’s Fables Studio in 1929, and to start his own studio, Terrytoons. After Terry’s departure, Aesop’s Fables Studio introduced sound, and was renamed Van Beuren Studios. The Aesop’s Film Fables series was renamed Aesop’s Sound Fables, and was produced by Van Beuren Studios until 1933.
Barrier, J. Michael. Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press, 2003.
Lenburg, Jeff. Who’s Who in Animated Cartoons. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2006.
Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.