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Cartoon Factory

by Nicholas Sammond

This cartoon offers a variation on the theme of celebrating the labor of animation. It opens with Max Fleischer deploying an electrical device to automate his pen, then wiring it directly to his whiteface minstrel, Ko-Ko. Flesicher eventually tempts Ko-Ko with  food, and woman, both whom are erased by a drawing machine that Fleischer has created to take over his job. As the machine takes on its own life, it seems to animate the cartoon by itself, making detailed planes of scenery come to life, eventually painting an entire house's interior in photographic form. Fleischer appears throughout, controlling his machine, eventually himself being "drawn" into the space of the cartoon. This real man starts animating within the diegetic space itself, building an army of animated toy soldiers who look like him, who all chase after Ko-Ko. Ko-Ko seizes the machine to erase the soldiers, dissolving them back into nothingness, producing a cannon to assault Max. As with most of the Out of the Inkwell shorts, at the end all of the soldiers dissolve back into the inkwell, the very black source of semi-autonomous life in the animate world.

Cartoon Factory - Out of the Inkwell Films

Animated by Max Fleischer,

from Cartoon Factory (1924 )
Creator: Directed by Dave Fleischer
Distributor: Out of the Inkwell Films
Posted by Nicholas Sammond