Two men are operating a 'dog factory', using a device that they call a Dog Transformator. A man brings three dogs into their shop, which they purchase from him. They place the dogs one by one into the machine, which turns each dog into a string of sausages. As their customers come in, they are then able to select the kind of dog that they want, and the machine changes the corresponding string of sausages back into a dog. Written by
One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by the Library of Congress. This version has a piano music score and runs 4 minutes. See more »
On one of the signs, "dachshund" is misspelled as "daschund". See more »
Amusing, Even When Removed From Its Cultural Context
As is the case with a fair number of movies from the era, "Dog Factory" is based on a then-current bit of pop culture that has long since disappeared. But it still stands pretty well on its own, as an offbeat and amusing short comedy.
The premise comes from a vaudeville routine that was pretty popular at the time, in which a mechanical-looking contraption would appear to change a dog into a string of sausages. Why this idea ever became so popular is anybody's guess, but the same could be said about some portion of any era's popular entertainments. The basic idea had already been used as a premise for films by Lumière and by American Mutoscope & Biograph, although those movies are apparently either lost or unavailable.
This Edwin S. Porter feature expands the idea considerably, and it turns the idea into a much more pleasant scenario for any animal lovers. It also uses a collection of typical vaudeville characters as it further elaborates upon the expanded premise. Audiences of the time probably particularly enjoyed seeing the added material combined with a routine that was already familiar to them, but it is still worth seeing now. The numerous dogs are particularly lively and endearing.
Porter's experience and technical know-how generally enabled him to make good use out of an interesting basic idea like this one, and as a result this short feature probably gets as much out of the simple comedy idea as anyone at the time could have.
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