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Max Fleischer
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20 April 1922 (USA)  »

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Follows Pay Day (1922) See more »

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Technically fascinating short starring Koko the Clown

Fliescher Studios (or more accurately, Max Fliescher) created a number of memorable characters, with Popeye and/or Betty Boop the most well-known these days. Come to that, Popeye isn't theirs, but that of a comic strip artist named Segar. But I digress.

For my money, in many ways, the best and most memorable of their stars was Koko the Clown. He was the first continuing character they had, starting out in the silents as a lead in shorts like this one and getting a second chance in sound cartoons as a secondary character in quite a few Betty Boop shorts. Koko was a fascinating character tailor-made for silents, as the clown persona was perfect for the surreal nature of the early Fliescher shorts. Bubbles is a very good example of the early efforts. Nothing else is even remotely similar to an early Fliescher cartoon. Bubbles is a relatively simple story with great visual imagery and holds up well some 80 years later. Well worth watching. Recommended.


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