To many people, The Marx Brothers always seemed cartoonish. Small wonder that film animators plucked their personas from their first appearances in The Cocoanuts (1929) and Animal Crackers (1930) and caricatured them in countless animated appearances in theatrical cartoons. Their animated likenesses have since been wisecracking in television cartoons, direct-to-video movies, fan films, commercials, flip books, avatars, emoji, a slot machine, and two TV pilots so rare they were once thought not to exist.
At last, Marx Brothers fans can rejoice. Matthew Hahn’s search for every animated appearance of a Marx brother has trailed longer than Groucho’s coattails. His discoveries include the backstories of the studios, moviemakers, and stars, rare test drawings from the Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery, abandoned projects, connections, coincidences, and apocrypha.