Inkblot Cartoon Style
aka: Rubberhose Animation
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:
- Black or, less commonly, grey bodies
- White facial masks or muzzles
- Eyes are often conjoined if it's just their muzzle that is white.
- Black noses
- White Gloves, which make the hands show up more easily.
- White paws, typically both back paws/feet and front paws/hands, if not a human. They have a function very similar to that of White Gloves.
- Pie eyes, or simply Black Bead Eyes.
- The main character is often a Captain Ersatz or an Expy.
- The main character is often a Cartoon Creature or has an Informed Species.
- The main characters often have Rubber Hose Limbs.
Examples from the 1930s and earlier:
- Felix the Cat, created in 1919.
- The earliest Disney characters are, or at least were, this.
- Looney Tunes:
- Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid & Honey from the earliest cartoons. Even though they look more like dog/cat crosses in Tiny Toon Adventures, they are still drawn in this style.
- Piggy and Fluffy, Goopy Geer, Foxy and Roxy, Buddy and Cookie, Wilbur the cat, and Beans the cat.
- Goopy's fur is white in his original cartoons, unlike in his Tiny Toon Adventures appearance in which he's black-furred.
- Many Merrie Melodies (which, unlike Looney Tunes, didn't have a regular cast)
- Betty Boop and Bimbo are both quite rubbery, even though Betty looks a lot more shapely.
- The Popeye cartoons of The Thirties are this, especially with the characters' eyes and Olive Oyl's Rubber Hose Limbs.
Retraux Examples:Comic Books Video Games
- Peacock from Skullgirls watched cartoons from this era when younger, so her character design, unlike the Animesque style of the rest of the cast, is inspired from this style. Paying close attention will reveal that what appear to be Black Bead Eyes are actually empty eye sockets.
- Game & Watch from Super Smash Bros.
- Sonic the Hedgehog, especially his original look.
- The indie title Cuphead is all about this visually. The animation was even all hand-drawn on cels!
- Anthro artist Agouti Rex's works, such as The Fantastical Bestiary, Witchprickers, Murry Purry Fresh And Furry, and Guttersnipe, are perceived to be this, but Agouti denies this.
- The Futurama Season 6 finale mocks this art style.
- Toot from Drawn Together.
- 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 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".