short film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces © Vitagraph Company of America
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Humorous Phases of Funny Faces

A live-action hand reaches up to the blackboard and sketches a man, beside him a sketch of a lady appears and the two begin to interact; only to replace by another sketch by the artist.

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This short, regarded as one of, if not the oldest animated short film ever made, has not aged that gracefully: the only importance it has these days is that of...
Created by: Vitagraph Company of America
Language: no dialogue
Country of Origin: USA
Directed by: J. Stuart Blackton
Produced by: J. Stuart Blackton

Debuting on April 6, 1906, Humorous faces is generally viewed as the earliest filmed animation of any kind (or at least the oldest surviving example). This however was not J. Stuart Blackton’s first experiment with what could be done with the motion camera. Six year prior to this short he had created another short film titled “The Enchanted Drawing.” This short was a “trick movie” which doesn’t actually use animation, but the ability to stop a filming camera, change what is in view, then restart the shoot. Giving the impression that something has suddenly disappeared or has otherwise changed.

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