Classic Animation Gets the Big Screen Treatment in Chandler

Imagine a rap war, ala Biggie and Tupac. But it takes place in the 1930s. And instead of being rappers, the two men involved are kiddie film animators. And instead of shooting at each other, they just say mean things about each other behind the other's back.

A little less sexy than the East Coast-West Coast battle, perhaps, but the rivalry between Walt Disney and the lesser-known but just as important Max Fleischer produced some of the best-known and most influential animation of the 20th century.

While Disney went on to create a family-entertainment empire, Fleischer remains an obscure figure to most save for die-hard classic animation fans. But his work on Betty Boop, Popeye, and Gulliver's Travels served as inspiration for underground cartoonists like Robert Crumb.

See what you've been missing this Friday at Chandler Cinemas' Classic Animation Weekend. Fleischer's work will be highlighted Friday, and film archivist Dennis Nyback will discuss Bugs Bunny on Saturday.