When we think of animation, we usually think of animated drawings. There are, however, several different schools and methods. There is the stop-motion modeling done by Willis O'Brien, Harryhausen and Vinton. And there is the jointed silhouette method favored of Lotte Reiniger.
Not surprisingly, Emile Cohl worked in all the various animation styles, although in a far more primitive manner than they would become. Here, in this short in which Hercules' Twelve Labors are reproduced, it's by means that are similar to Reiniger's, although the figures are not black silhouettes on a painted background, but jointed figures on a black background.
There is none of the sense of intimacy of Reiniger's work, but then, this is still very early days and Cohl was still working in the mode of trick films in which the animation was as much the point of the film as the story.
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