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Humorous Phases of Funny Faces

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Directed by J. Stuart Blackton
Produced by J. Stuart Blackton
Distributed by Vitagraph Company of America
Distributed by Vitagraph Company of America
Running time 3 minutes
Country USA
Language silent


Humarous Phases of Funny Faces is noted as the first American animation movie. Although the movie is silent, the viewers still get a sense of how much it takes to make a piece of animation. This short shows drawings coming to life. It shows how two different faces evolve, sometimes showing Blackton's hand. There is an old man who smokes and an old lady who "flirts" with the old man. You feel the emotion from the movie, and for the first time, American animation gets that magical feeling Blackton sought.

This short is the first of its kind- drawings that move. These drawings, be it the old man or the clown and the dog, show how much effort Blackton put to make a 3 minute animation movie. It is a 2D animation, but you can still feel the drawing invoking emotion.

The purpose of the movie is to get the viewers to appreciate the effort behind an animation, while also creating humor behind the drawings. Blackton does achieve these goals.

The short is a mix between modernism and realism. The movement of the film is very naturalistic and does a great job in portraying human emotion. However, modernism shows transformations in aesthetic and social animation. The drawings are unlike anything seen before and the technology increased to a level higher than before. Blackton drew the different faces, and the different expressions. He then stopped filming, then restarted filming after the next face was drawn, and continued this process.

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