Feb 13, 2011

Margaret Winkler

Margaret J. Winkler initially worked as a secretary for Warner Brothers. For the better part of the period of silent films, Warner Brothers served as a film distributor. However, in 1917, the company began the distribution of cartoons such as Mutt and Jeff. When the creators of the series "Out of the Inkwell" approached the company with their series, Harry Warner, who was Winkler's boss, decided that this was a good opportunity for her to demonstrate her skill, and gave it to her to manage, suggesting that she build up her own distribution business, which eventually became Winkler Productions. She went on to acquire the signature of Pat Sullivan for Felix the Cat, which helped put her establishment on the map and recieve a reputation as the top distributor of cartoons. The Fleischers, creators of Out of the Inkwell, on which Winkler had started her business went on to create a distribution company of their own due to the fruits of her work, further demonstrating her talents.
Once she really got into the business, Winkler worked under the name M.J. Winkler (her initials) to avoid discrimination in the sexist world. In 1923 Winkler lost her client Felix the Cat, because she couldn't provide for the unrealistic demands of the ignorant creator, Pat Sullivan, but was interested by the submission of new business, by the name of Walt Disney. He had a pilot reel called "Alice's Wonderland." Winkler liked the idea of a live action girl in an animated background. Even though the studio where the cartoon was created was bankrupt, she gave disney a long term contract. Disney formed a new studio and was very successful with the backing of Winkler, who personally edited all of the Alice's wonderland cartoons. Winkler thought it might be interesting to add a character who was strikingly similar to Felix the Cat to Disney's cartoon,(maybe revenge on Sullivan?) and Pat Sullivan furiously signed on with the rival distribution company in 1925. In 1924 Winkler married Charles Mintz and went into retirement not long after.

Info from http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Margaret_Winkler

Image from http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief1/b/jim_hill/archive/2009/08/18/remembering-virginia-davis-1918-2009.aspx

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