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Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)

A cartoonist draws faces and figures on a blackboard - and they come to life.

Director:

(uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
... Cartoonist (uncredited)
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Storyline

Considered the first truly animated movie (or at least the first verifiable, surviving animation), this film is based on the lightning-sketch, a popular vaudeville act. The artist (Blackton) draws a series of faces on a blackboard, which then seem to take on a life of their own. Written by kemie <kemie@hotbot.com>

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Country:

Release Date:

6 April 1906 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vicces arcok vicces fázisai  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Historians generally cite this as the first animated cartoon. See more »

Goofs

J. Stuart Blackton's hand keeps getting in the camera's way. See more »

Connections

Featured in Animated Century (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating early animation
30 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

From the vantage point of 96 years later, this is, comparatively speaking, rather simplistic and quite limited in contrast to work done today. But, also comparatively speaking, so would a certain single engine airplane seen at Kitty Hawk 99 years ago in contrast to a Lear Jet. There's more wit and imagination in any 90 seconds of this short than can be found in 60-90 minutes of some of the animated features I've seen in the last few years. Viewed in context and realizing its age and the circumstances of its creation, you begin to realize just how remarkable and notable this piece of work truly is and that it truly is magic. A very early step, if not the first step, on the path that gave us Felix the Cat, Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry and countless others. Each generation builds on what comes before. But, of necessity, there must be that first layer and the strength of that foundation is key to the growth of the medium. Work like this must be remembered and appreciated. In a world where the past is increasingly no earlier than breakfast today for all too many people (not that past generations have been all that much better), works like this need to be spotlighted and preserved for the future to benefit from. Well worth watching. Recommended, particularly to animators or fans of animation.


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