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The Enchanted Drawing (1900)

A cartoonist defies reality when he draws objects that become three-dimensional after he lifts them off his sketch pad.

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Storyline

An easel holds a sketch pad upon which Blackton draws a cartoonish face of a man. He makes the cartoon react by giving it wine, cigars, and a top hat. Objects magically go into the drawing--becoming part of the cartoon image, and out of the drawing--becoming physical objects again. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Release Date:

16 November 1900 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az elvarázsolt rajz  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Both stop-motion and drawn animation techniques were used in this film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #3.1 (1990) See more »

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The Father of Animation
11 March 2016 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

While one may think it is difficult to review a short that lasts only two minutes, no matter how much of a cinephile you are, the fact that you may witness the beginnings of animation in this art, is a reason enough to be "passionate" about the challenge.

The short uses precise (though somewhat obvious) camera cuts to give the illusion of drawings being taken off and returned to the canvas by the artist. This could be considered as an early use of special effects that combine two-dimensional drawings with real people and objects, a clear precedent of what we would later see in films like Roger Rabbit and Space Jam. In its time I'm sure it must have surprised audiences. It is not a minor detail, therefore, that one of the people responsible for this little gem is James Stuart Blackton, a major producer and director of that time, who is also considered as "The Father of Animation", and plays the drawer. I highlight his name, since he was a pioneer that worked with revolutionary techniques, and gave birth to one of the most important and popular genres of cinema (despite this work not being completely animated, like his "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" from 1907, considered the first film almost entirely drawn that was shown in cinemas).

With a sense of humor present throughout the very brief footage, and a good use of special methods, one can't help but feel enchanted (no pun intended) to this little, but remarkable gem.


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