Perpetual Motion (1920)
Article 6051 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Featuring Roland Crandell and Max Fleischer
What it is: “Out of the Inkwell” episode
A crank inventor is fooled into believing he has created a perpetual motion machine by an animator. However, the clown created by the animator has a trick of his own up his sleeve…
The “Out of the Inkwell” series featured Koko the Clown interacting with real-life objects and people; the cast members listed above appear as characters rather than as voices. Throw in the perpetual motion machine and we’re nudging up against science fiction, though the fact that it doesn’t really work makes it only a nudge, but the fact that the machine interacts with the animated clown gives us plenty of fantastic content. Like most of the OOTI cartoons, this is amusing enough; I like the method Koko uses to repair his torn clown pants. Koko the Clown would reappear in the early Betty Boop cartoons, but would eventually be abandoned.