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The Frogs Who Wanted a King (1922)

Les grenouilles qui demandent un roi (original title)
The frogs are bored with their lot, and ask God to give them a king - but God, irritated with their inability to govern themselves, quickly makes them change their minds.
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Storyline

The frogs have a democracy, but they beseech Jupiter to send them a king. Jupiter can hardly believe this amphibian foolishness, so he sends them a tree as king. The frogs make obeisance to their new monarch, but they are dissatisfied and petition Jupiter again. Now he sends a proper king with a crown, a stork. Frog ladies and gents turn out to see the new sovereign and bring tribute. The stork starts to eat the frogs. They beg Jupiter for help. Jupiter hurls down lightning bolts, while the king continues to eat his subjects. "Moral: Let well enough alone." Written by David Carless

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lightning | stop motion | See All (2) »


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

20 January 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Frogs Who Wanted a King  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This animated short is based on one of Aesop's fables. See more »

Connections

Featured in Basquiat (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's "political timber"
20 October 2005 | by (Greensboro, N.C.) – See all my reviews

One of Starevich's earliest films made in France is possibly his only political satire. The story of The Frogs Who Wanted A King mirrors its title as a group of high "croakers" feel that democracy has gone flat so they demand a king from Jupiter to rule their land. When he sends down a stump, the frogs ask for another king, saying the stump is but "political timber." Jupiter sends down a hungry stork this time whose frog lusty eyes devour the town's residents. As the original "croaker" is about to slide down the stork's beak, he speaks his moral: "let well enough alone." This film features a few beautiful crowd scenes of dozens of puppet frogs. Starewicz tricks the audience into believing they are all moving at once by keeping the background in constant motion and animating only about six frogs or so at one time. The slightly corny dialogue and problems with lighting in a few places diminish the quality of repeat viewings, however its historical significance in Starewicz's life make it of importance to watch. His feelings towards government immediately following his flee from Russia are likely expressed in this film. In addition, the technical accomplishments of animating so many characters at once in a stop-motion film is astounding.


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