Peludopolis (lost animated film; 1931)
|Argentine advertisement poster for the film.|
Peludópolis is a 1931 animated film by Italian-born, Argentinian animator and director Quirino Cristiani. Best known for his political satires and his unique animation style, Cristiani made three animated films, all of which are lost (also including El Apóstol and Sin dejar rastros).
The original plot for Peludópolis was a political satire focusing on the then-Argentinian president Hipolito Yrigoyen as he floated around in his boat "Peludo City" (symbolizing Argentina) while being harassed by hungry sharks (representing Radicals). A year into production for the film, Yrigoyen was ousted by a military coup d'état and production halted.
Still wanting his film to see the light of day, Cristiani began de-emphasizing Yrigoyen and the sharks. He added in the generals that overthrew Yrigoyen as the heroes and an everyman character named Juan Pueblo to act as the moral center of the film. After the delay and plot rearrangement, Peludópolis was finally released on September 16, 1931.
Peludópolis is best known as the first animated film to be released with sound. Cristiani added this feature part way through production using a second disk to record sound, including multiple songs, to be played alongside the film. This complex system was required to achieve sound in film because Argentine cinemas could not yet accommodate sound systems of the time.
In both 1957 and 1961, fires broke out where Cristiani had stored his films, destroying most of, if not all of his work. Among the lost materials included the only known prints of Peludópolis, meaning that it is unlikely the film will be seen again. A making-of feature of the film from 1930, along with several stills and posters, have survived.