Inkblot Cartoon Style

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Inkblot Cartoon Style is the cartoon style most prevalent from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s.

Most historians refer to this as Rubber Hose Animation because characters' arms, legs and pretty much everything else are usually animated as if they were made of rubber tubing and without elbows or knees.

In many cartoons in the very late Twenties and early and mid-Thirties, not only does everyone dance to the background music, everything dances to it as well.

The style sometimes falls into Accidental Nightmare Fuel territory because of the its tendency toward surrealist humor.

Characteristics of Characters of the Inkblot Cartoon Style:

If this style is used in a cartoon that was made after the 1920s/1930s, it results in Retraux. It often, but not always, goes hand-in-hand with Rubber Hose Limbs, which originated from this style.

Examples from the 1930s and earlier:

Retraux Examples:

Comic Books

Video Games


Western Animation
  • The Futurama Season 6 finale mocks this art style.
  • Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner from Animaniacs are this, even though they don't have Rubber Hose Limbs and their eyes look somewhat Animesque.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Bart's Comet", the Couch Gag is the family drawn in this style.
    • The first ever episode of Show Within a Show Itchy And Scratchy is in this style, being a parody of Steamboat Mickey.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy parodies this in the episode "Hill Billy".
  • In a Cutaway Gag on Family Guy, Peter was waxing nostalgic about him and Brian in the old days; they were drawn in this style for the flashback.
  • The Fairly OddParents has an episode where Timmy's grandpa comes in to baby-sit him. His grandpa later reminisces on how the old cartoons used to look like in this style, causing Timmy to make a wish that causes the whole world to look like this art style for his grandpa.
  • The "Old Timey" universe from Homestar Runner.
  • Dennis the Duck from House of Mouse, who is basically an avian version of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
  • One episode of Spongebob Squarepants featured a scene drawn this way, with Spongebob singing "I'm Ready to go to Work!" during the entire scene.
  • A number of the drawings in ChalkZone are drawn in this style. They've been shown in "Mellow Drama Falls" and "The Label Police" as well as the music video segments "There You Are" and "Time to Go Home".

Alternative Title(s):

Rubber Hose Animation