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Not to be confused with Charles F. Muntz, a character from Up.

Charles Bear Mintz was an American film producer and distributor, who assumed control over Margaret J. Winkler's Winkler Pictures after marrying her in November 1923; the couple would have two children, Katherine and William. Between 1925 and 1939, he would produce over 370 cartoon shorts.

History

Mintz had been part of Winkler Pictures since at least 1924.[1] A 1937 biography claims he had been producing Felix the Cat cartoons in 1921.[2]

Oswald's creation

Charles Mintz was unhappy with the production costs on Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks's "Alice Comedies", and asked the two to develop a new character. The result was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the first animated character for Universal Pictures. Mintz had signed a deal with Universal vice president R. H. Cochrane on March 4, 1927.[3] Mintz reportedly had an Oswald-themed "feast" with most of Universal's staff.[4]

In February 1928, when the character proved more successful than expected, Mintz hired all of Disney's animators except Iwerks, who refused to leave Disney, and took over the production of Oswald cartoons from his new Winkler Studio with Margaret Winkler's brother, George.

Losing Oswald

After losing the Oswald contract to Walter Lantz,[5] Mintz focused on the output of a Winkler-distributed property, the Krazy Kat series. Winkler Pictures moved from New York to Los Angeles and was renamed Charles Mintz Studio in 1931. The studio would be renamed Screen Gems after Columbia Pictures acquired it a few months before he died of a heart attack on December 30, 1939.[6]

Mintz was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Short Subject. His first nomination was in 1935 for "Holiday Land," and he was nominated again in 1938 for The Little Match Girl.

References

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