Inkblot Cartoon Style is the cartoon style most prevalent from The Silent Age of Animation. 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 Pie-Eyed and conjoined if it's just their muzzle that is white. Or simply Black Bead Eyes.
- Black noses
- Rubber Hose Limbs
- Four-Fingered Hands
- 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.
- The main character is often a Captain Ersatz or an Expy.
- The main character is often a Cartoon Creature or has an Informed Species.
Examples from the 1930s and earlier:
- In episode 8 of Little Witch Academia, Sucy's memories are drawn in an old-timey cartoon way◊, with monochrome characters drawn with simplistic shapes, pie eyes, and Rubber Hose Limbs. To drive the Retraux home, they are framed with film reel borders, and are overall a lot less complex than the series' normal art style.
- The indie title Cuphead. Its visuals and overall art style are a homage to old cartoons by Fleischer Studios and its contemporaries, and features characters drawn with wide eyes and mouths, round features, simple outfits, and white gloves. In motion, they all have Rubber Hose Limbs and uses Briffits and Squeans. Several characters visually evoke characters from that era, such as Werner Werman looking very similar to Mortimer Mouse; some reference animation figures from that era, like Kahl being named for Milt Kahl. The animation was even all hand-drawn on cels!
- The first segment of the Futurama Season 6 finale "Colorama" is animated as an old cartoon from the 1920s and 1930s, specifically revealed in marketing to be those done by Fleischer Studios. The entire thing is in monochrome, and the characters are redesigned to have Rubber Hose Limbs, pie eyes, rounder features, and white Mickey Mouse-style gloves. Jazz music from the 1920s was also licensed for use in this segment.
- Toot from Drawn Together is a Captain Ersatz of famed inkblot character Betty Boop. She is Deliberately Monochrome in a colorful world of Genre Refugees, has a large head and big dot eyes, and dresses like someone from the early 20th century.