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In the 1920s, cartoon legend Max Fleischer and his brothers, David and Joe, developed a brand new way to make cartoons. By filming a subject, then tracing its movement frame by frame, the brothers developed a system known as Rotoscoping.
Their first subject for this new animation style was a loveable clown character named Koko.
Koko and his rubbery dog Fitz starred in a handful of theatrical shorts throughout the 1920s and enjoyed great success. This series of cartoon classics was dubbed Out of the Inkwell, due to the fact that every episode began with Koko literally stepping out of an inkwell to greet the day.
Eager for cheap programming, syndicated cartoon shows in TV’s early days started airing Fleischer’s Out of the Inkwell series as part of their daily line-up. This led to the creation of an all-new, all-colour series of Koko cartoons in 1962.
The new Out of the Inkwell bore little resemblance to the original, with the exception of Koko himself.
A girlfriend by the name of Kokette was added, as well as a villain dubbed Mean Moe. Sadly, even Fitz the dog had been replaced by Kokonut, another poochy pal.
Despite a noble effort on the part of the producers and voice artist Larry Storch (who would go on to star in the TV series F Troop), the series was cancelled after one season.