Sunday 2 August 2015

How To Keep Some Silent Cartoons Alive

Not enough do we talk about cartoons in the silent film era on this blog. The best ones—Felix the Cat and Max Fleischer’s Ko-Ko—still stand on their own as entertainment instead of curios. There were many other series as well, emerging from a primordial ooze of John Bray’s patents and comics in newspapers.

I’ve forgotten the estimate of the number of silent films that are considered lost—let’s just say it’s in the majority—so any attempt to rescue and restore the ones that can still be seen is welcome. Thus we’re pleased to report that Tom Stathes, the young New Yorker who has more desire to preserve old silent animation than maybe anyone else alive, is hoping to find like-minded fans and historians with some cash to assist him in his latest endeavour to get a collection of cartoons, some dating back 100 years, in shape and viewable for years to come. You can view details about his project HERE.

Alas, Felix’s name is not on the list of films being made as pristine as possible; I presume copyright has something to do with it. Not all the characters from these ancient trade ads below will be part of the collection, either, but I have these pictures in my computer so this is as good a place as any to display them.

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