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The Kid Should See This

Animated Hair Cartoon, No. 18 (1925)

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From the UCLA Film & Television Archive, this is Animated Hair Cartoon, No.18 (1925), from Max Fleischer‘s Red Seal Pictures. Beyond it being fun to watch one face change into another, these images also come together as a pop culture time capsule from the early 20th century. From the historian’s notes:

“The ‘Animated Hair’ films, featuring artwork by ‘Marcus’ (not well-known animator Sid Marcus, but a caricaturist for the original humorous Life Magazine) were relatively easy for the studio to produce, using one artist (his hand usually seen on screen drawing the image) and the gimmick of manipulating one caricature with stop motion to create a second caricature (usually by rearranging a hair-do).”

animated hair cartoon

“For example, in this entry, playwright George Bernard Shaw becomes baseball commissioner Kenesaw M. Landis, and Charlie Chaplin morphs into Buster Keaton. Audiences were thrilled. Fifty one ‘Animated Hair’ shorts were produced between 1924 and 1927. This entry (No. 18) was released on July 11, 1925.”

charlie chaplin tranforms
Also featured: Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Samuel Gompers, Elsie Ferguson, and “Babe” Ruth.

Plus, more about UCLA’s Archives of Animation from Fig. 1:

“Long before Pixar and today’s CGI special effects extravaganzas, early animators of the silent era experimented and introduced new techniques into filmmaking. Mark Quigley gives us a tour of the silent animation collection at UCLA’s Film & Television Archive – one of the few places in the world that captures this rich history of early animation.”

early animation

Watch more from the 1920s and more pioneering animation:
Fleischer’s The Tantalizing Fly
Norman McLaren’s Pen Point Percussion
Oskar Fischinger’s Optical Poem
Ray Harryhausen’s Mother Goose Stories

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