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Lightning Sketches (1907)

An illustrator draws some sketches at lightning speed. He first illustrates how he can turn a written word into a sketch of that word. The first word he writes is coon, which he transforms ... See full summary »

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An illustrator draws some sketches at lightning speed. He first illustrates how he can turn a written word into a sketch of that word. The first word he writes is coon, which he transforms into a sketch of a black man. The next word he writes is Cohen, which he transforms into a sketch of a Jewish looking man. He is then visited on set by another man, who makes a smudge on the drawing surface. The illustrator turns that smudge into a sketch of that visiting man. And finally, he draws a drinking glass, a bottle of milk and a bottle of seltzer which take on lives of their own. Written by Huggo

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Animation | Short

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15 July 1907 (USA)  »

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The Roots of Animation
22 October 2012 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

J. Stuart Blackton, media mogul, director and an early toiler in the field of movie animation, made his first animated movie in 1896, SKETCHES and this one, more than a decade later, a year before Emile Cohl was getting started in France. Although films were getting sophisticated, animated films were just starting out, because of the costs: each frame had to be drawn by hand. It would be another half dozen years before Bray and Hurd would begin to patent their labor-saving devices and bring down the costs. In the meantime, pieces like this one, which built upon stage caricaturists, were brief novelties. This one was only a minute and a half in length.

Modern viewers may well be offended by offensive words and images. Even worse, some one smokes a cigar.


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