|The best disc in the series
|written by AKrizman
||March 17, 2003 - 7:42 PM PST
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
|Instead of being a documentary that shows clips from dozens of silent movies while a narrator explains
their relevance, The Origins of Film series shows a handful of obscure films from the silent era in their entirety with only introductory title cards provided for explanation.
"Origins of American Animation" includes the following 23 short films:
The Enchanted Drawing (1900) 1.5 min.
Though not strictly animation, this familiar film is an inspired execution of stop motion trickery deftly performed by vaudevillian J. Stuart Blackton.
Fun in a Bakery Shop (1902) 1.5 min.
Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) 3 min.
J. Stuart Blackton, again; this time he's experimenting with true animation. This film plays like a sampler of animation exercises rather than a coherent piece.
Keeping up with the Joneses [Women's Styles] (1915) 3 min.
Keeping up with the Joneses [Men's Styles] (1915) 3 min.
Primative animation from Harry S. Palmer. Not particularly remarkable.
Dreamy Dud Resolves Not To Smoke (1915) 5 min.
Us Fellers: Dud Leaves Home (1919) 5 min.
This marks a step up in the level of sophistication in animation.
Bobby Bumps Starts a Lodge (1916) 5 min.
Krazy Kat Goes A-Wooing (1916) 2.5 min.
Krazy Kat - Bugologist (1916) 3.5 min.
Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus (1916) 3 min.
Endearing proto-Mickey characters
The Phable of a Busted Romance (1915) 2 min.
The Phable of the Phat Woman (1916) 2 min.
Never Again! "The Story of a Speeder Cop" (1916) 2 min.
Mr. Nobody Holme: "He Buys a Jitney" (1916) 1.5 min.
Tom E. Powers adds an element of the surreal to his cartoons.
Mary and Gretel (1917) 7 min.
A fairy brings two dolls to life then kills them for picking flowers, and a bunny dies of alcohol poisoning. All of this and elf bowling, too! These are just a few of the charming moments that highlight this wonderous stop motion tale sure to enchant children and the young-at-heart.
The Dinosaur and the Missing Link (1917) 6 min.
Willis H. O'Brien's stop motion primate vs. dinosaur career starts here.
W.S.S. Thriftettes (1918) 0.5 min.
AWOL; or, All Wrong Old Laddiebuck (1919) 6 min.
I found this one a bit inscrutable, but Charles R. Bowers' bio is intriguing enough to give a look.
The Katzenjammer Kids: "Policy and Pie" (1918) 6.5 min.
from "Gertie on Tour" (1921) 1.5 min.
from "The Centaurs" (1921) 2 min.
Two unfinished pieces by animation pioneer Winsor McCay.
Tony Sarg's Almanac: "The First Circus" (1921) 6 min.
A disjointed novelty cartoon in silhouette - shadow puppets perhaps?
"Origins of the Fantasy Feature" includes the following two films:
The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) 66 min.
Produced by the author himself, this early Oz work is intriguing as an authentic reflection of Frank Baum's artistic vision. The set decoration and costumes were faithfully consulted when the more famous Oz movie was made 25 years later. The film stands quite well on it's own, too. The acrobatic Pierre Couderc is particularly pliable as the titular Patchwork girl, and the Scarecrow and Tin Man make welcome cameos.
A Florida Enchantment (1914) 63 min.
The premise: magic seeds turn men to women and women to men; madcap situations ensue. The interesting twist is that they don't actually physically change gender - they just start behaving and, eventually, dressing like the other gender. This brings up some surprisingly bold gay themes.
Origins of Film Collection (Disc 1 of 3)
Origins of Film Collection (Disc 3 of 3)