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Out of the Inkwell (1918-1929)



Out of the Inkwell

(1918 – 1929)

Cartoons / Kid's Show

9:31 minutes

Cartoon and animation legend Max Fleischer invented the Rotoscope, which he patented in 1917.  The Rotoscope was a device enabling realistic looking movement for cartoons.  From 1914 to 1916 he produced three short films to demonstrate the use of the Rotoscope.  From there Out of the Inkwell was created.

The animated cartoon series was produced by Max Fleischer from 1918 to 1929, first as Out of the Inkwell (1918 – 1926, 62 cartoons) and then as Inkwell Imps (1927 – 1929, 56 cartoons).

The Out of the Inkwell series of cartoons integrates live action along with the drawn characters as they interact.  The main character was Koko the Clown who, along with his dog Fitz, would interact with Fleischer.  The cartoons generally began with Fleischer seated at his drawing board and dipping his pen into the inkwell.  As he began to draw the character would come to ‘life’.

The original series ended in 1929, but KoKo did make a few later appearances such as in a cartoon with Betty Boop in 1931 and again in 1934, and in the Toys Will be Toys screen song in 1949.

In the 1960s Max Fleisher produced a new series of 100 Out of the Inkwell cartoons, still starring KoKo but now also including a girlfriend, Kokette and an adversary named Mean Moe.


Flies (1922)


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Matinee Classics - Cartoons - Out of the Inkwell
Matinee Classics - Koko the Clown Cartoons


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