Two impish clowns construct a magic lantern. They prop it up at an angle, and use it to project pictures onto a wall. When the picture show ends, they open up the lantern to reveal a group of dancing girls inside - and this is only the first of the indications that this lantern really is magical. Written by
This might be a film from the early days of cinema but Melies was already a seasoned practitioner of the infant art back in 1903 and it shows in this relatively sophisticated special effects short. The premise is simply - as all films were back then: two clown dolls create a magic lantern in a child's bedroom and project moving images onto a bedroom wall before revealing a small army of dancing girls concealed in the lantern. The film begins to resemble a variety show at this point before culminating in a fairly surreal sequence featuring an abnormally tall figure taunting the police who arrived to break up the clowns who began fighting over the affections of one of the dancing girls. The film is quite amusing, but even at less than five minutes it seems a little overlong.
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