Fleischer Studios Presents: The Tantalizing Fly (1919)

I’ll tell you the truth. I honestly can sit and watch the Fleischer Studios “Out of the Inkwell” series of animated shorts all morning long. Fleischer Studios created these theatrical shorts, starting out at the Bray Studios and produced for Paramount Studios from 1918 to 1920. In 1923 the Fleischer brothers created their own studio and gave name to the clown from their popular animated short films, they called him KO-KO and eventually he would be known simply as Koko.

[Via] Medamine39’s YouTube Channel

Koko the Clown would also find his talents needed in the animated adventures of Betty Boop starting in 1931 for the Fleischer Talkartoons series. His last appearance theatrical appearance came in 1934 in the Betty Boop short entitled “Ha! Ha! Ha!”. Koko was given another shot at fame in 1958 when Max Fleischer brought the character to television for 100 episodes thanks to Hal Seeger, the famous clown was voiced by none other than Larry Storch (The Groovy Ghoulies, F-Troop).


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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5 thoughts on “Fleischer Studios Presents: The Tantalizing Fly (1919)

  1. Atari Adventure Square says:

    The fluidity of motion in this animation is astounding.
    Also, the highly imaginative and creative use of cartoon and live-action is still – today – years ahead of its time.

    The 1958 color output of Koko airing in the late 60s was some of the first cartoons that held me enthralled.
    That opening with the ink well as a portal for toon people and funtime?
    It’s like a visual mantra.

    Had a plastic bendy Koko as a wee one.
    It was much beloved.
    This just reminded me of that.

  2. Oooh, Atari Adventure Square…I didn’t know about the bendy Koko ‘toys’, you realize that I’ll have to find out about it now, right? :)

  3. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Jeez, I just remembered it was a *Bozo* bendy, with the red hair sticking out on the sides, and not a Koko one, with the Ziggy parentage.

    But I mistook it cuz for some reason, my mind saw Bozo jumping out of that ink bottle.

    Where’s my rocking chair?

  4. Hey, no worries Atari Adventure Square. You and I both might need that rocking chair, over on the forums I accidentally typed Andy Summers from WKRP as one of my favorite TV Characters…when I meant Andy Travis. Thankfully Six Million Dollar Jedi was there to not only bring me a rocking chair but help me into it. ;)

  5. Drahken says:

    I never watched any of the out of the inkwell cartoons, except for a couple betty boop ones which might or might not have been part of the series (she comes out of the inkwell, but I don’t know if it’s officially part of the series or not). I just can’t get in to the silent era stuff (animated or otherwise). That fly one was pretty good though.
    I had never heard of that 1950s remake before, but I checked one out on youtube and it was pretty good, I’ll probably look for more.

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