4. Fantasmagorie – Emile Cohl

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SUMMARY: Chalk line stick figures of a gentleman and a clown encounter objects that morph and transform fluidly before them.

WHY IT’S HERE: Emile Cohl’s ‘Fantasmagorie’ is another landmark of early animation. Taking inspiration from the work of J. Stuart Blackton, Cohl created a short animation in which chalk line drawings metamorphose fluidly into different shapes and characters. The Blackton influence is clear in the main characters of a clown and a gentleman and the white line drawings but Cohl’s figures are looser and more surreal, opening up the possibilities for animation even further. Though it lasts 1 minute 20 seconds, that’s 1 minute 20 seconds that changed animation history.

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