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We Learn About the Telephone (1965)

Unrated | | Animation, Short, Comedy | April 1965 (USA)
Bill sketches an animated person, Mr. Man, who takes us back through history to explain how people developed a need to communicate, and shows us devices that helped to do so.





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Complete credited cast:
Wright King ...
Bill Matthews
Jimmy Matthews
Susie Matthews (as Pam Ferden)
Captain Tom Adams


Bill Matthews, a graphic artist, is planning on taking his nephew and niece, Jimmy and Susie Matthews, on a picnic. Before they can leave, Bill receives an important telephone call from one of his clients, the police department. While waiting for the rain to subside for them to be able to go on their picnic, Bill, thinking about that telephone call, wants to educate Jimmy and Susie about how man communicated over long distances before the telephone. Using his artistic ability, Bill creates an animated world for them, which outlines such primitive communication methods as runners, messengers on horseback, smoke signals, and flashing light signals, then moving onto electronic methods such as the telegraph and then the telephone. Each communications advance was designed to make communication faster, easier, more convenient and/or more effective. Bill, still using his animated world, describes how the telephone works and outlines proper telephone protocol and etiquette, including how to ... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

telephone | ephemeral film | See All (2) »






Release Date:

April 1965 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Telephone Conversation
26 November 2011 | by See all my reviews

The director of this industrial film, Jean Yarborough, spent most of his career writing and directing comedy movies and television shows. He is best remembered for his work with Abbott and Costello, directing their 1950s TV show.

Like most industrial films of the era, this is a straightforward piece about the evolution of the telephone and how to use one. It is enlivened a bit by spending most of its time in cartoon form. The UPA styling is hardly surprising, as that part was directed by John Hubley.

While it is of some historical interest to see how professionals coped with the end of the studio system, it is simplistic. Cute voice stylings, though, particularly by whoever does the voice of "Mr. Man."

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