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Collection Origins of American Animation

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  • Krazy Kat goes a-wooing /

    Krazy Kat's serenade outside the window of Ignatz Mouse meets with a barrage of bricks.

    • Contributor: Searl, Leon A. - Herriman, George - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • Bobby Bumps starts a lodge /

    Bobby Bumps plays a trick on his friend who wants to be initiated into his lodge. When his friend outsmarts him and saves his life, they both agree to be initiated into the lodge together.

    • Contributor: Hurd, Earl - Bray Studios - Afi/Atkinson (Dennis) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • Dud leaves home /

    Dud wants to buy his girlfriend Maime an ice cream cone so he breaks open his mother's bank, and splits their last dime in half in the process. His mother punishes him so he runs away. Dud is scared by imaginary ghosts in the dark, so he runs back home where he gets a spanking from his mother.

    • Contributor: Carlson, Wallace - Bray Pictures Corporation - Afi/Marshall (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1919
  • [Gertie on tour--excerpts] /

    Gertie is a dinosaur who lives in present times. She encounters a train and dreams of being the life of the party in her time.

    • Contributor: McCay, Winsor - McCay, John - Fitzsimmons, John A. - Rialto Productions - Afi/Cinémathèque Canadienne Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1921
  • [The centaurs--excerpts] /

    A half human-half horse boy and girl meet and fall in love. They have a baby and go home to their parents for a happy reunion.

    • Contributor: McCay, Winsor - McCay, John - Fitzsimmons, John A. - Rialto Productions - Afi/Cinémathèque Canadienne Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1921
  • Dreamy Dud--he resolves not to smoke /

    Dreamy Dud steals a man's pipe because he is fascinated with smoking and blowing smoke rings. He smokes the pipe and the smoke turns into a ghost and carries him up to the moon and leaves him. Dud falls off the moon and down to earth. He wakes up on the floor of his room and resolves never to smoke.

    • Contributor: Carlson, Wallace - Essanay Film Manufacturing Co. - Afi/Edell (Frederick) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • The first circus /

    During the stone-age the Stonehenge Circus entertained cavemen and women. The circus had a dinosaur that doubled as a trampoline and tightrope for the acrobats.

    • Contributor: Sarg, Tony - Dawley, Herbert M. - Herbert M. Dawley Productions - Rialto Productions - Afi/Uhl (Clement) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1921
  • Keeping up with the Joneses. [Men's styles] /

    A domestic comedy about the McGinis family--husband Aloysius, wife Clarice, daughter Julie, and housemaid Belladonna. The simple story lines often parody society's concern with material goods as an indicator of social standing, but the series was not as narrowly focused as the title implies. The Joneses were the McGinis's neighbors, but were not depicted. They were referred to as objects of envy, with whom ...

    • Contributor: Palmer, H. S. (Harry S.) - Momand, Arthur R. - Gaumont Co. - Mutual Film Corporation - Afi/Zouary (Maurice) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • Krazy Kat, bugologist /

    While in the woods studying bugs, Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse encounter a sleeping bee and an angry elephant.

    • Contributor: Searl, Leon A. - Herriman, George - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • About this Collection - Origins of American Animation - Collections

    The development of early American animation is represented by this collection of 21 animated films and 2 fragments, which spans the years 1900 to 1921. The films include clay, puppet, and cut-out animation, as well as pen drawings. They point to a connection between newspaper comic strips and early animated films, as represented by Keeping Up With the Joneses, Krazy Kat, and The Katzenjammer ...

    • Date: 1900
  • Policy and pie /

    The Captain gets a life insurance policy and gives it to his wife. In gratitude she makes him a pie. The Katzenjammer Kids play a trick on the Captain and sneak toads into his pie so that he would think his wife is trying to poison him.

    • Contributor: La Cava, Gregory - International Film Service - Afi/Souder (Thomas) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1918
  • Fun in a bakery shop /

    The set is of the interior of a bakery. A man in a baker's hat and costume enters and begins kneading some dough on a table by the oven. He notices a make-believe rat crawling up the side of a nearby barrel and throws the dough at the rat, covering it completely. He then goes over to the dough and begins to pummel it ...

    • Contributor: Porter, Edwin S. - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1902
  • Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the circus /

    An animated cartoon about the adventures of Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the circus, where they demonstrate their courage to each other by attempting to scare a woman.

    • Contributor: Searl, Leon A. - Herriman, George - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • The enchanted drawing /

    From Edison films catalog: Upon a large sheet of white paper a cartoonist is seen at work rapidly sketching the portrait of an elderly gentleman of most comical feature and expression. After completing the likeness the artist rapidly draws on the paper a clever sketch of a bottle of wine and a goblet, and then, to the surprise of all, actually removes them from ...

    • Contributor: Blackton, James Stuart - Smith, Albert E. - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1900
  • AWOL, all wrong old Laddiebuck /

    From J. McIntire, Silent animated films at the Library of Congress: Concerns American soldiers in Europe after the armstice [sic]. One goes AWOL with "Joy" (Miss AWOL) and after a series of mishaps with her, he is thrown in a guard house while his fellow soldiers go home. From Origin of American animation 1900-1921 notes: A cautionary tale for troops impatient to return home ...

    • Contributor: Bowers, Charles R. - American Motion Picture Corporation - Afi/Rhode Island Historical Society Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1919
  • The phable of a busted romance /

    An animated cartoon about a workman who recovers and returns Miss Gotrox's lost purse containing 10,000 dollars, and receives a Canadian dime as a reward.

    • Contributor: Barré, Raoul - Powers, Tom E. - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • W.S.S. Thriftettes /

    A promotion for war savings stamps, reputed here to help confine Germany's Kaiser to a circus cage.

    • Contributor: Felton, Paul M. - Felton Art Studio - Bdf Films (Firm) - Miscellaneous Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1918
  • The dinosaur and the missing link, a prehistoric tragedy /

    Uses clay animation to tell a story of prehistoric times. Three suitors, named the Duke, Stonejaw Steve, and Theophilus Ivoryhead, compete for the hand of Miss Araminta Rockface. Ivoryhead, an unassuming weakling, wins her hand when the others mistakenly believe that he has killed a large ape which was actually felled by a dinosaur.

    • Contributor: O'Brien, Willis - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - K.E.S.E. (Firm) - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1917
  • Digitizing the Collection - Origins of American Animation - Collections

    The films included in Origins of American Animation were taken from several collections in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. These include the Paper Print, American Film Institute/J. Stuart Blackton, A.F.I./Maurice Zouary, A.F.I./Frederick Edell, A.F.I./George Marshall, A.F.I./Dennis Atkinson, A.F.I./James Ashton, A.F.I./Rhode Island Historical Society, A.F.I./Thomas Souder, A.F.I./Bernard Uhl, Louise Ernst, George Kleine, and Cinémathèque Québécoise Collections. These films were previously released in ...

  • Keeping up with the Joneses. [Women's styles] /

    A domestic comedy about the McGinis family--husband Aloysius, wife Clarice, daughter Julie, and housemaid Belladonna. The simple story lines often parody society's concern with material goods as an indicator of social standing, but the series was not as narrowly focused as the title implies. The Joneses were the McGinis's neighbors, but were not depicted. They were referred to as objects of envy, with whom ...

    • Contributor: Palmer, H. S. (Harry S.) - Momand, Arthur R. - Gaumont Co. - Mutual Film Corporation - Afi/Zouary (Maurice) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1915
  • Mary & Gretel /

    From Origin of American animation 1900-1921 notes: Alice in Wonderland meets the Garden of Eden in this surreal fable of a drunk rabbit, bowling dwarfs, and the two bewildered girls of the title. From J. McIntire, Silent animated films at the Library of Congress: Mary & Gretel explore the forest and come across Rip Van Winkle, drunken woodsmen, and a bunny. They pluck magic ...

    • Contributor: Moss, Howard S. - Toyland Films - Peter Pan Film Corp - Afi/Ashton (James) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1917
  • Mr. Nobody Holme--he buys a jitney /

    An animated cartoon about Mr. Nobody Holme, who warms up his sluggish automobile with the assistance of a stick of dynamite.

    • Contributor: Searl, Leon A. - Powers, Tom E. - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • Related Resources - Origins of American Animation - Collections

    Bendazzi, Giannalberto. Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1994. Canemaker, John. Winsor McCay: His Life and Art. New York: Abbeville Press, 1987. Crafton, Donald. Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 1898-1928. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982. Gifford, Denis. American Animated Films: 1897-1929. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Company, Inc., 1990. Heraldson, Donald. Creators of Life: A History of Animation. New ...

  • Humorous phases of funny faces /

    J. Stuart Blackton "draws" a series of funny faces, including a line drawing of two faces, a man with an umbrella, a line drawing of two faces in profile, a clown, faces of "Coon and Cohen," the profile of a seated man, and a bottle of Medoc.

    • Contributor: Blackton, James Stuart - Vitagraph Company of America - Afi/Blackton (J. Stuart) Collection (Library of Congress) - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1906
  • Rights and Access - Origins of American Animation - Collections

    The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes and makes no warranty with regard to their use for other purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory ...

  • Notes on the Origins of American Animation, 1900-1921 - Origins of American Animation - Collections

    Animated drawings were introduced to film a full decade after George Méliès had demonstrated in 1896 that objects could be set in motion through single-frame exposures. J. Stuart Blackton's 1906 animated chalk experiment Humorous Phases of Funny Faces was followed by the imaginative works of Winsor McCay, who made between four thousand and ten thousand separate line drawings for each of his three one-reel ...

    • Date: 1900
  • Never again! The story of a speeder cop /

    An animated cartoon about an ineffectual policeman (Officer Heeler) who quits the force after a losing battle against speeders.

    • Contributor: Barré, Raoul - Powers, Tom E. - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916
  • The phable of the phat woman /

    An animated cartoon about a fat lady who attempts unsuccessfully to lose weight.

    • Contributor: Barré, Raoul - Powers, Tom E. - International Film Service - Ernst (Louise) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1916