Among a cache of recently discovered American silent films from 1912-1927 was one cartoon, Mutt and Jeff in On Strike (1920). It, along with seven others, will be restored via a new international cooperative film preservation program between the major U.S. archives and Australia.
The cartoon itself is interesting as it reflects and lampoons the strikes and labor strife common in the US during the post World War I period. The plot has Mutt and Jeff going on strike when they are refused a pay raise and their attempts to make their own cartoons. “Chastened by the experience, they return wiser workers.” It also features a rare on screen appearance of Mutt & Jeff creator/cartoonist Bud Fisher. Exhibition prints will be distributed to the U.S. archives for screenings later this year.
UPDATE: The cartoon has been posted online, click here.