Out of the Inkwell (Silent)

A selection of shorts starring Koko the Clown from Max Fleischer's groundbreaking series that combined live-action and animation. Plus three 'Betty Boop' cartoons guest-starring Koko.
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 8301D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 4 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: January 14, 2020
  • Originally Released: 2020
  • Label: Alpha Video

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Description by OLDIES.com:

Out of the Inkwell grew out of early experiments conducted by Max Fleischer with his invention, the Rotoscope. This was a device that consisted of a film projector and an easel - through a glass-covered opening in the easel, an animator could "trace" the live-action images being projected. Though the intent was solely to improve fluidity of movement for animators, the Rotoscope fired Fleischer's imagination. Using his brother Dave (then working as a clown at Coney Island) as his Rotoscoped model, Max created a series called Out of the Inkwell. Dave's clown would "escape" from the inkwell on Max's desk and cause all manner of mischief and mayhem in an entertaining mixture of live-action and animation. The first entries were part of The Bray Pictograph Screen Magazine, a monthly compilation of newsreels and travelogues that was shown in theaters before the main feature. In 1921, Fleischer left Bray to start his own studio, taking the clown and Out of the Inkwell with him. At the same time, the shorts started incorporating more animation as Dave moved from being the model for the clown to actually directing the films. In 1923, the Fleischers made Dick Huemer (who worked on Mutt and Jeff for a competing studio) their Director of Animation. Huemer gave the clown a name, "Koko" (previously he had been referred to only as the "Inkwell Clown") a dog, Fitz (who would evolve into Bimbo in later cartoons) and moved the Fleischers away from depending on the Rotoscope. Out of the Inkwell remained popular for the remainder of the silent era, but Fleischer retired the series with the advent of sound. The brothers went on to great success with characters like Popeye, Superman, Gabby, and Betty Boop (with Koko serving as Betty's sidekick in her initial cartoons.) Stuart Productions released the Out of the Inkwell shorts to television in 1950, introducing a new generation of children to Koko the Clown and "Uncle Max." This DVD features examples from all the different iterations of the series, and shows why film historian William K. Everson once wrote, "Even when compared with the technical accomplishments of the animated film in its peak period - the achievements of Fleischer's Out of the Inkwell series are remarkable."

  • The Tantalizing Fly (1919)
  • The Ouija Board (1920)
  • The Clown's Little Brother (1920)
  • Perpetual Motion (1920)
  • Modeling (1921)
  • Bubbles (1922)
  • Koko in Toyland (1925)
  • In the Good Old Summer-Time (1926)

BONUS BETTY BOOP CARTOONS: In the first few Betty Boop cartoons, Koko served as Betty's sidekick, along with Bimbo. Koko was completely phased out after 1934, but these three shorts give viewers a good idea of this phase of the character's progression.

  • Betty Boop's Ker-Choo (1933)
  • Betty Boop's Crazy Inventions (1933)
  • Is My Palm Read (1933)
This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 194
  • UPC: 089218830197
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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