Dave Fleischer was responsible for many gems. Ones that were amusing and charming, though over-cuteness did come through in some efforts and the stories were always pretty thin, with appealing characters, outstanding music and visuals that were inventive and with innovative animation techniques.
Ko-Ko similarly was an always amiable character to watch and among the better recurring characters in Fleischer's early work. Likewise, his series of Out of the Inkwell cartoons were among the best early efforts of Fleischer and silent cartoons in general. Fleischer may not be at his very finest and 'The Fortune Teller' is not quite one of the best Ko-Ko cartoons. It is high up though and it is very hard to dislike it.
'The Fortune Teller' is slight story wise and occasionally it's on the predictable side, but most of the time one is having too much fun to be caring about that.
The character interplay is truly delightful and the mix of animation and live action and how they blend is seamless.
One expects the animation to be primitive and very low quality, judging by that it's the 20s when animation techniques were not as many, as refined, as ambitious and in their infancy. While Fleischer became more refined and inventive later certainly, the animation is surprisingly good with some nice visual wackiness and wit. The live action also looks good.
It all goes at a bright and breezy pace, while there are a fair share of funny and suitably wild, well-timed and clever moments, also some of the most imaginative and cleverest of the early Ko-Ko cartoons. The atmosphere is similarly suitably spooky. Ko-Ko as ever is very likeable and amusing and Max is terrific fun. The chemistry between the two is one of the cartoon's biggest pleasures.
On the whole, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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