Using the technique of stop-motion photography pioneered in America by J. Stuart Blackton, Emile Cohl of France drew Fantasmagorie for the Gaumont Company in 1908. Arguably the first and certainly the most sophisticated cartoon until that time, its stream-of-conscious narrative remains impressive after a century. The vintage 16mm source print acquired from Francis Doublier seems to be the sole surviving full-frame original copy of this important film, and after our transfer, Gaumont used it for a frame-by-frame scan and restoration to 35mm. Music by Frederick Hodges. —Flicker Alley
Émile Cohl (January 4, 1857 – January 20, 1938), born Émile Eugène Jean Louis Courtet, was a French caricaturist of the largely-forgotten Incoherent Movement, cartoonist, and animator, called “The Father of the Animated Cartoon” and “The Oldest Parisian”.
Émile saw little of his father during his childhood, and was over-protected by his ailing mother until her death in 1863. In 1864, at the age of 7, he was enrolled at the Ecole professionnelle de Pantin, a boarding school known as the Institute Vaudron after its founder. There his artistic talents were discovered and encouraged. The next year, a cold kept him in his father’s apartment, where he began stamp collecting, a hobby that would become his sole source of income several times in his life.
The chaos caused by the Franco-Prussian War and the following siege of Paris led to the closing of Elie Courtet’s factory. Émile was transferred to the less-exclusive Ecole Turgot, but his lessons were soon forgotten as the teenager… read more
Animation allows artists to break away from the physical limits of representation, making it the most enabling form of surrealism. It seems the earlier you go in animation history, the increasingly abstract and surreal, whereas the later the more based in real physics and logic, which is a shame. It isn't really until .gif animations that we've returned to such blatant whimsy, but those get overlooked --PolarisDiB
Creative animated short with a stream-of-conciousness that doesn't always work but its a fun ride.
French caricaturist Émile Cohl earned his nickname as “The Father of the Animated Cartoon” with this early short, inspired by the pioneering work of J. Stuart Blackton, which is considered the first… read review