Animation Preservation: Bed Time

Under the auspices of Scott MacQueen, the Head of Preservation at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, ASIFA-Hollywood has been focused on restoring animated films that are in serious need of saving.

As a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the art of animation, we cannot let these films be lost to future audiences. Through the Animation Preservation Project, ASIFA-Hollywood seeks out, finds, preserves, and restores films to save the past for present and future generations.

Max Fleischer’s Bed Time
Our most recent restoration in 2014 was for Max Fleischer’s Bed Time (1923). This is a classic silent-era Out Of The Inkwell cartoon featuring Koko the Clown, the pen and ink creation of Max Fleischer who appears on camera in live action scenes. In this film, Koko gets revenge on Max by growing to gigantic proportions and chasing him all over Manhattan. At the time of its original release, this film was a marvel of visual effects. Even today, it’s still effective and hilariously entertaining.

Out of the Inkwell was an animated series of the silent era from 1918 to 1929. The series was the result of three short experimental films that Max Fleischer independently produced during 1914-1916 to demonstrate rotoscoping. Fleischer’s younger brother Dave Fleischer was working as a clown at Coney Island, and served as the model for what was to become their first famous character that later evolved as Koko the Clown.

Max Fleischer’s Dinah
Stepping up our efforts in 2015, ASIFA-Hollywood is moving forward to restore the sound cartoon short Dinah (1933), a Max Fleischer Screen Song cartoon featuring live action segments and a musical soundtrack by The Mills Brothers. Dinah was the second of the Mills Brothers’ three appearances in Fleischer Studio cartoons, and was the follow-up to their debut short I Ain’t Got Nobody.

Like all the films that we restore, the original film elements for this animated short were dangerously close to disintegrating, and our efforts will preserve the films forever.