SUMMARY: A series of amusing characters are draw in chalk and subsequently come to life.
WHY IT’S HERE: J. Stuart Blackton secured his reputation as the father of American animation with this great early animated film which many consider the first example of the medium. Although this ignores the pioneering work of Reynaud, Blackthorn’s work here undoubtedly improves upon Reynaud’s wonderful but stiff creations. Blackton’s line drawings, despite also being rather limited, are far more expressive and endowed with a greater humour and life. ‘Humorous Phases of Funny Faces’ is an expansion on Blackton’s earlier, semi-animated film ‘The Enchanted Drawing’, but while that film essentially amounted to a parlour trick with only a couple of seconds of animation, ‘Humorous Phases of Funny Faces’ makes the drawings the whole show and earns itself a place in history in the process.