Famous Studios (renamed Paramount Cartoon Studios in 1956) was the animation division of the film studio Paramount Pictures from 1942 to 1967. Famous was founded as a successor company to Fleischer Studios, after Paramount acquired Fleischer Studios and ousted its founders, Max and Dave Fleischer, in 1941. The studio's productions included three series started by the Fleischers—Popeye the Sailor, Superman, and Screen Songs—as well as Little Lulu, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Herman and Katnip, Baby Huey, Little Audrey, and the anthology Noveltoons series.
Theatrical short subjects series:
- Popeye the Sailor (inherited from Fleischer Studios, 1942 – 1957)
- Superman (inherited from Fleischer Studios, 1942 – 1943)
- Noveltoons (1943 – 1967)
- Little Lulu (1943 – 1948)
- Little Audrey (1947-1958)
- Raggedy Ann: Appeared in two shorts made by the studio: "Suddenly It's Spring" (1944), and "The Enchanted Square" (1947).
- Screen Songs (1947 – 1951; originally produced by Fleischer Studios 1929 – 1938)
- Casper the Friendly Ghost (Initially appeared in three Noveltoons short subjects, graduated to a standalone series from 1950 – 1959)
- Baby Huey (1950-1959)
- Kartunes (1951 – 1953)
- Herman and Katnip (1952 – 1959)
- Modern Madcaps (1958 – 1967)
- Jeepers and Creepers (1960)
- The Cat (1961)
- Swifty and Shorty (1964 – 1965; originated in 1963 as Ralph and Percy)
- Honey Halfwitch (1965 – 1967)
- Merry Makers (1967)
- Go Go Toons (1967)
- Fractured Fables (1967)
- Segments of Popeye (1960 – 1962; outsourced from King Features)
- Segments of Felix the Cat (1958 – 1961; outsourced from King Features and Trans-Lux)
- The New Casper Cartoon Show (1962 – 1963, produced for Harvey Films)
- Segments of King Features Trilogy (1963 – 1965; outsourced from King Features)
- Twelve of the Paramount-produced shorts in this series were released theatrically in 1962 under the title Comic Kings
- The Mighty Thor segments of The Marvel Superheroes (1966; outsourced from Grantray-Lawrence Animation)
- Bloodless Carnage / Family-Unfriendly Violence: Arguably the most prominent aspect of the cartoons. Herman and Katnip and Baby Huey cartoons in particular have some of the most painful-looking violent gags in any cartoon ever.
- Shot for Shot Remake: Many of their Popeye shorts were blatant remakes of earlier Fleischer ones.
- Something Else Also Rises: In "Sheep Shape", when the wolf sees the singing senorita, he does a Wild Take, and has two soda bottles he was holding erupt in a mountain of fizz.
- Strictly Formula: The studios cartoons are notorious for how formula-driven they were, although part of this was the result of Paramount's frugal budgets and explicit forbidding of the studio taking artistic risks--this was an attempt to prevent the studio from going through another financial meltdown like what had happened with the two Fleischer Studios features. Lee Mishkin, an inbetweener for the studio, even has a quote about it:
"I think the problem lay in the attitude of the management. The bosses would go to screenings with a list of all the gags in a film on a clipboard. They'd put a check after each gag that got a laugh and use it in the next picture. If a gag got a laugh in three pictures in a row, it became a standard and they'd use it in every picture after that. They had a real nuts-and-bolts approach to making films."
- What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: Unlike some of the other studios of the time, Famous made the decision to aim the bulk of their cartoons exclusively towards the younger crowd.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Done in "Sheep Shape".