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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. He 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]

Alice Comedies

Compared to Margaret, Mintz had been much more critical towards Walt Disney during the production of the Alice Comedies.

Mintz signed a deal with the Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) in 1926; FBO would distribute the Alice Comedies to theaters instead of Winkler while Winkler would still own the rights to the series. FBO distributed the Alice Comedies up until the series' end in 1927.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

In early 1927, Mintz got word that Universal Pictures was looking to get back into the cartoon business. Because of this, he had requested that Walt create a character he could sell to Universal. Ub Iwerks would design a rabbit character, and Universal would name it Oswald. Mintz signed a deal with Universal vice president R. H. Cochrane on March 4; Winkler would produce 26 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons throughout the 1927-28 season.[3] Mintz reportedly had an Oswald-themed "feast" with most of Universal's staff.[4]

In February 1928, Mintz moved production of the Oswald cartoons to Winkler; The Walt Disney Studio's contract with Winkler had been terminated after they failed to reach an agreeable payment deal. He hired most of Disney's animators to work at a new studio formed in the company. The studio would be managed by 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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