The Enchanted Drawing (1900) Poster

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selfhelpradio17 January 2002
This "trick movie" (as they are known) lasts for a minute & a half & transpires much as the summary above describes: a man draws a face on a large sheet of paper, then several objects (a bottle, a glass, a cigar, a hat) which, thanks to stop motion, come to life as he reaches for them. The face itself changes when things are taken away or when they are returned. The face itself is not animated, though this film is considered an early example of the animated film.

The lightning-quick sketch artist in the film is James Stuart Blackton, who toured in vaudeville with his easel & amazed audiences with his quick drawings. He worked for Edison quite a while, for obvious reasons - a century later, the film is really, really cool, & the same stop motion that worked in TV shows like "Bewitched" always seems amazing.

But this one, even as early as it was made, has a charm that some shorts can't replicate. First of all, it's extremely well done; when Blackton grabs the bottle & glass, it's surprising. Second, Blackton himself is a showman, so his drawing & his interaction with it are done in an animated, entertaining way. & lastly, it's just fun: a drawing that gets mad when its bottle of wine is stolen, but becomes happy when it is fed the wine is just too cute & funny to find trite or dull.
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history of animation
fiser_dennis16 March 2005
While Winsor McCay is often treated as the father of animated film, others like Emile Cohl (working for a studio, unlike McCay) and Stuart Blackton definitely were on the scene before. Their styles are all very different (especially Cohl's), but Blackton does wonderful things with the medium of animation, which are, in spirit, much the same as the animation films and episodes we come to know and love. My rating is not only for its inventiveness, but historical significance, as it belongs to a style, genre, and era that is often undertreated in film history (often getting a page or two mention in film history books). But thanks to the likes of John Canemaker and Donald Crafton, animation is increasingly well-canonized and game for consideration.
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The Enchanted Drawing still retains some charm nearly a century or so later
tavm12 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
J. Stuart Blackton is an unsung pioneer in the history of animation possibly because many of his short film projects had techniques that have been improved time and time again. Having said that, The Enchanted Drawing in which he draws a face with a cigar, a glass, and a wine bottle and proceeds to take many of those objects off the drawing in split-time seamless editing has an old-fashioned charm that still resonates some 107 years later. And the various expressions of the drawn man's face whenever any of these objects are taken from him must have truly enchanted audiences of the day. With this and Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, Blackton deserves some recognition for contributing to the art of animation.
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How do you rate a film this short?
MartinHafer5 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the very earliest attempts at producing an animated short, having been produced in 1900. And just how can I accurately rate this film as it only lasts about 1 minute? Well, it's just guesswork and considering the context for when it was made, it's an amazing film and still watchable today.

A man walks in front of an easel. He draws a face as well as a bottle of wine and a glass. Then very seamlessly, he takes the wine bottle and glass off the paper and they become real and he drinks it. The face on the paper looks sad until he gives it a taste of the wine and a cigar--then the face becomes very happy. The artist is live and the drawings he makes seem magical and well-integrated into the film.
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Early Animation
Michael_Elliott28 June 2010
Enchanted Drawing, The (1900)

*** (out of 4)

Early attempt at animation is also another take on the work of Georges Melies. A cartoonist walks onto a stage with a large sheet of paper. He then begins to draw various items, which seems to come to life (this trick down with the editing). It's hard to be too hard on a film this early and running just over a minutes so I won't even try. This is a pretty fun little movie even with the various flaws. I found the cartoonist to be pretty entertaining and the drawings are quite nice. The "magic" tricks aren't that believable and are miles below the work of Melies but they're still mildly charming.
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The Father of Animation
exe_malaga9311 March 2016
While one may think it is difficult to review a short that lasts only two minutes, no matter how much of a cinephile you are, the fact that you may witness the beginnings of animation in this art, is a reason enough to be "passionate" about the challenge.

The short uses precise (though somewhat obvious) camera cuts to give the illusion of drawings being taken off and returned to the canvas by the artist. This could be considered as an early use of special effects that combine two-dimensional drawings with real people and objects, a clear precedent of what we would later see in films like Roger Rabbit and Space Jam. In its time I'm sure it must have surprised audiences. It is not a minor detail, therefore, that one of the people responsible for this little gem is James Stuart Blackton, a major producer and director of that time, who is also considered as "The Father of Animation", and plays the drawer. I highlight his name, since he was a pioneer that worked with revolutionary techniques, and gave birth to one of the most important and popular genres of cinema (despite this work not being completely animated, like his "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" from 1907, considered the first film almost entirely drawn that was shown in cinemas).

With a sense of humor present throughout the very brief footage, and a good use of special methods, one can't help but feel enchanted (no pun intended) to this little, but remarkable gem.
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Funny minute
Horst_In_Translation25 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This very short short film from 1900 put a smile on my lips. It is directed by J. Stuart Blackton and also stars him. He is one of the most famous prolific directors of the early 20th century. Here he give us a man who draws a painting of another man. He also draws some wine and cigars. When the artist magically takes the wine and cigars from the picture, the painted man looks mad as he seems to want his pleasure back. So finally, he gives it back to him as well as his cylinder and he is happy again. J. Stuart Blackton also seems to have a great time drawing as he seems so enthusiastic. This is a very short work, but not a bad one at all. Much better than most silent one-minute shorts from around 1900. It's like a good joke. Short, but memorable. Recommended.
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