International Film Service

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International Film Service

Also known as:







A subsidiary of William Randolph Hearst’s International News Service, IFS was created to translate popular comic strips of the day into cartoons, making them into “living comic strips”, and intended to boost paper sales. Following the successes of his former employees Winsor McCay, Bud Fisher and George McManus, who had all transitioned from illustrating comic strips into short animated films, Hearst hired away the best from his competition and found Gregory La Cava to head his animation studio. La Cava hired on his previous co-workers William Nolan and Frank Moser, along with Raoul Barré, as IFS geared for production, jumping into eight different series.

A studio nurturing many animation stars of the future such as Walter Lantz and Grim Natwick, much of the work produced by IFS is forgotten, with the exception of the lingering character Krazy Kat. Hearst had always produced a pro-German leaning paper, seeing much of his customer base in the German immigrant populace, but after WWI, the paper lost much of its credibility. On July 6th, 1918, the staff at IFS were all laid off, ending the animation studio effectively. A year later, Hearst made a deal with Bray Productions, reviving temporarily popular IFS characters, but that agreement broke off two years later.