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Cartoon: Émile Cohl

Welcome to the past.

Enjoy this compilation of animations by Émile Cohl. 

Including “The Puppets Nightmare”, “Un Drame Les Fantoches”, “Fantasmagorie”, and “The Hasher’s Delirium”.

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Still stuck in the past? Learn more about Émile Cohl!

There’s an origin story about how Émile Cohl became one of the pioneers of early animation that probably isn’t true but fun to tell. Born in Paris in 1857, Cohl had earned a modest name for himself as a cartoonist and caricaturist when he saw an unauthorized short film based on one of his comic strips. In a hot rage, he stormed into the producer’s office because this was pretty easy to do in the early 1900’s and gave him a piece of his mind. The producer hired him on the spot. 


The rest is definitely true. Inspired by the stop motion animation of Georges Méliès and J. Stuart Blackton, as well as magic lantern techniques and the puppetry theater of the Guignol, Cohl directed the first fully drawn and animated films in cinema history. An independent spirit who loved to experiment, he often found himself at odds with his producers and financiers. His fortunes suffered in the aftermath of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression, and he died largely forgotten. 

Today, scholars, cinephiles and animation geeks have rediscovered his work and restored his reputation as the “Father of the Animated Cartoon”.  

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