Watch Restored Versions of Classic Fleischer Cartoons on Youtube, Featuring Betty Boop, Koko the Clown & Others

Quite a few gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­can chil­dren have by now grown up know­ing the names of Max and Dave Fleis­ch­er — albeit know­ing even bet­ter the names of the char­ac­ters they ani­mat­ed, like Bet­ty Boop, Pop­eye the Sailor, and Super­man. The kids who first thrilled to Max Fleis­cher’s ear­ly “Out of the Inkwell” series, which he start­ed in the late nine­teen-tens and con­tin­ued into the late nine­teen-twen­ties, would nat­u­ral­ly have seen them in a movie the­ater. But most of us under the age of eighty would have received our intro­duc­tion to the live­ly, whim­si­cal, and often bizarre world of the broth­ers Fleis­ch­er through the tele­vi­sion, a medi­um hun­gry for car­toons prac­ti­cal­ly since its incep­tion.

Now view­ers of all ages can enjoy Fleis­ch­er car­toons on Youtube, and in new­ly restored form at that. “The Fab­u­lous Fleis­ch­er Car­toons Restored team is ded­i­cat­ed to pre­serv­ing Fleis­cher’s films by restor­ing them from orig­i­nal prints and neg­a­tives,” writes Boing Boing’s Rusty Blazen­hoff, adding that “Adam Sav­age’s Test­ed vis­it­ed the Black­hawk Films scan­ning facil­i­ty in Cal­i­for­nia and spoke with restora­tion expert Steve Stanch­field about the process of bring­ing these clas­sic films back to life.”

The charm of Fleis­ch­er car­toons may still feel effort­less a cen­tu­ry after their cre­ation, but any­one famil­iar with ani­ma­tion knows how painstak­ing that cre­ation would have been; by the same token, bring­ing the sur­viv­ing films back to pris­tine con­di­tion is a more com­pli­cat­ed job than most view­ers would imag­ine.

The cur­rent offer­ings on Fab­u­lous Fleis­ch­er Car­toons Restored’s chan­nel include Bet­ty Boop and Pudgy in “Hap­py You and Mer­ry Me,” Bim­bo the Dog in “Teacher’s Pest,” and even the short but lav­ish Tech­ni­col­or fan­ta­sy “Some­where in Dream­land,” which bright­ened up the grim days of the Great Depres­sion for all who saw it. The restor­ers have also worked their mag­ic on Fleis­ch­er hol­i­day car­toons like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer” and “Christ­mas Comes But Once a Year” (includ­ing with the lat­ter a side-by-side com­par­i­son of the new restora­tion with the exist­ing six­teen-mil­lime­ter DVD print). Yes, Christ­mas has just passed, but it will come again next year, and bring with it the lat­est gen­er­a­tion’s chance to be delight­ed by Fleis­ch­er car­toons crisper and more vivid than the ones with which any of us grew up.

via Boing Boing

Relat­ed con­tent:

Watch a Sur­re­al 1933 Ani­ma­tion of Snow White, Fea­tur­ing Cab Cal­loway & Bet­ty Boop: It’s Ranked as the 19th Great­est Car­toon of All Time

The Harlem Jazz Singer Who Inspired Bet­ty Boop: Meet the Orig­i­nal Boop-Oop-a-Doop, “Baby Esther”

The Orig­i­nal 1940s Super­man Car­toon: Watch 17 Clas­sic Episodes Free Online

The Trick That Made Ani­ma­tion Real­is­tic: Watch a Short His­to­ry of Roto­scop­ing

Einstein’s The­o­ry of Rel­a­tiv­i­ty Explained in One of the Ear­li­est Sci­ence Films Ever Made (1923)

How Walt Dis­ney Car­toons Are Made: 1939 Doc­u­men­tary Gives an Inside Look

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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