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Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author

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Space, Page 155

Lavish movie palaces in the 1920s sometims mounted combination shows, a mixture of live spectacle and film. These usually incorporated cartoons such as Big Chief Ko-Ko (1925) alongside live theatrical performances, including travelogues, orchestral interludes, and musical dance numbers.

This cartoon contains a number of stereotypical depictions of "Indian" characters within the theme of the interplay between the animation/animated and reality/animator. Although the Indian Chief gives Max Fleischer the background for the cartoon—as if the Chief had a certain amount of creative control over the animation—eventually Ko-Ko and Fitz turn on the Chief, who retaliates and forces them back into the Inkwell.
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