Humorous Phases of Funny Faces

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Not the first animation ever, not exactly the first on film (Pauvre Pierrot holds this record, though it was figures projected on painted backgrounds), “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” is nevertheless the inception of the animated short.

With a framing device of the artist drawing on a blackboard, it prefigures artistic animation rather than the commercial sort due to take off a couple of decades later. Still, it was fun enough to keep both me and my 3-year-old son entertained for four minutes, and 112 years later I’d consider that to be a mark of quality.

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