Difference between revisions of "Humpty Dumpty Circus (lost animated short; 1908)"

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{{InfoboxLost
 
{{InfoboxLost
 
|title=<center>The Humpty Dumpty Circus</center>
 
|title=<center>The Humpty Dumpty Circus</center>
|image=The Humpty Dumpty Circus 1898 film still.jpeg
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|image=AndysTent900f.jpg
|imagecaption= The Humpty Dumpty Circus toy set release by A.Schoenhut Company.
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|imagecaption= The Humpty Dumpty Circus toy set released by A.Schoenhut Company.
|status=<span style="color:grey;">'''Existence Unconfirmed'''</span>
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|status=<span style="color:red;">'''Lost'''</span>
 
}}
 
}}
'''''The Humpty Dumpty Circus''''' was a stop-motion short from 1898 that was directed by J. Stuart Blackton and produced by Albert E. Smith. The short, widely believed to be the earliest known example of stop-motion animation, used Smith's daughter's toys which were photographed scene by scene to create an illusion of constant movement.
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'''''The Humpty Dumpty Circus''''' is a stop-motion short created by Vitagraph in 1908 that was directed by J. Stuart Blackton and produced by Albert E. Smith.<ref>[https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86090369/1908-11-23/ed-1/seq-4/#date1=1908&sort=relevance&rows=20&words=circus+Dumpty+Humpty&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=18&state=&date2=1909&proxtext=Humpty+Dumpty+Circus&y=11&x=9&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=3 A newspaper announcing the showing of the short at a local theatre.] Retrieved 16 Nov '19</ref> The short, widely believed to be the earliest known example of stop-motion animation, used Smith's daughter's toys which were photographed scene by scene to create an illusion of constant movement. The short likely used the toy set of the same name that was released by A.Schoenhut Company in 1903 that still had wide popularity with children, especially around the Christmas season.<ref>[http://www.schoenhutcollectorsclub.org/ A webpage that includes a color image of A.Schoenhut's Humpty Dumpty Circus toy set.] Retrieved 16 Nov '19</ref>
  
==Dating and Skepticism==
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Before the discovery of multiple newspapers from 1908 and 1909 verifying the date in which the short was released, estimates of when the film was produced varied between animation experts and those who had worked on the short. Smith recalled making the film in 1898. Other experts such as Charles Solomon were skeptical of the film ever existing, as they would hypothesize that if the film existed, it would have likely been produced in 1904 due to both an evolution in toy manufacturing, as well as Vitagraph Studio's three-and-a-half year hiatus due to legal issues.<ref>[https://books.google.ca/books?id=GBUABAAAQBAJ&pg=PA129&dq=%22donald+crafton%22+%22humpty+dumpty+circus%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_0Le-rpPeAhVKy1QKHa4rDr0Q6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q=%22humpty%20dumpty%20circus%22&f=false An excerpt concerning the film from Donald Crafton's ''Emile Cohl, Caricature, and Film''.] Retrieved 19 Oct '18</ref>
Though the film is often dated as being made in 1898, estimates vary between experts in the field of animation. Smith recalled making the film in 1898 by using his daughter's toys which were able to create movement through their flexible joints. Though expert Charles Solomon is skeptical of the film ever existing, he and Donald Crafton both hypothesize that if the film existed, it was likely produced in 1904 due to both an evolution in toy manufacturing, as well as Vitagraph Studio's three-and-a-half year hiatus due to legal issues.<ref>[https://books.google.ca/books?id=GBUABAAAQBAJ&pg=PA129&dq=%22donald+crafton%22+%22humpty+dumpty+circus%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_0Le-rpPeAhVKy1QKHa4rDr0Q6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q=%22humpty%20dumpty%20circus%22&f=false An excerpt concerning the film from Donald Crafton's ''Emile Cohl, Caricature, and Film''.] Retrieved 19 Oct '18</ref> Tjitte de Vries, co-author of ''They Thought it was a Marvel'', states his thoughts on the date briefly when he states that Britain's Arthur Melbourne-Cooper's ''The Humpty Dumpty Circus'' from 1914 should not be confused with Blackton and Smith's work from 1908.<ref>[https://books.google.ca/books?redir_esc=y&id=6nWBD_raPKoC&q=humpty+dumpty+circus#v=snippet&q=humpty%20dumpty%20circus&f=false The excerpt from the late Tjitte de Vries' ''They Thought it was a Marvel''.] Retrieved 19 Oct '18</ref> In fact, Crafton believes that Blackton and Smith were inspired by the works of Melbourne-Cooper, as foreign filmography was making its way into the American market during Vitagraph's hiatus, and that they claimed to make the film at an earlier date in order to improve their reputation. Solomon goes on to state that the film, if it existed, would possibly be the first stop-motion animation film in America as opposed to being the first to have ever existed due to Smith's wording.<ref>[https://books.google.ca/books?id=7-A4AQAAIAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=humpty+dumpty+circus Charles Solomon expressing his doubt and views of the film in his work ''The Art of the Animated Image''.] Retrieved 19 Oct '18</ref> If the film was released around 1904, it would line up with the timeframe Albert Schoenhut was manufacturing his "Humpty Dumpty Circus" toy sets from 1903-1935.<ref>[http://www.schoenhutcollectorsclub.org/ A webpage that includes a color image of A.Schoenhut's Humpty Dumpty Circus toy set.] Retrieved 19 Oct '18</ref>
 
  
===References===
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Tjitte de Vries, co-author of ''They Thought it was a Marvel'', stated his thoughts on the date briefly when he mentioned that Britain's Arthur Melbourne-Cooper's ''The Humpty Dumpty Circus'' from 1914 should not be confused with Blackton and Smith's work from 1908.<ref>[https://books.google.ca/books?redir_esc=y&id=6nWBD_raPKoC&q=humpty+dumpty+circus#v=snippet&q=humpty%20dumpty%20circus&f=false The excerpt from the late Tjitte de Vries' ''They Thought it was a Marvel''.] Retrieved 19 Oct '18</ref> In fact, Donald Crafton, another expert in the field, believed that Blackton and Smith were inspired by the works of Melbourne-Cooper, as foreign filmography was making its way into the American market during Vitagraph's hiatus, and that they claimed to make the film at an earlier date in order to improve their reputation.
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==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
  
 
[[Category:Lost animation|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
 
[[Category:Lost animation|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
 
[[Category:Lost films|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
 
[[Category:Lost films|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
[[Category:Existence unconfirmed|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
 
 
[[Category:Historic|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
 
[[Category:Historic|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]
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[[Category:Completely lost media|Humpty Dumpty Circus]]

Latest revision as of 00:07, 7 May 2020

AndysTent900f.jpg

The Humpty Dumpty Circus toy set released by A.Schoenhut Company.

Status: Lost

The Humpty Dumpty Circus is a stop-motion short created by Vitagraph in 1908 that was directed by J. Stuart Blackton and produced by Albert E. Smith.[1] The short, widely believed to be the earliest known example of stop-motion animation, used Smith's daughter's toys which were photographed scene by scene to create an illusion of constant movement. The short likely used the toy set of the same name that was released by A.Schoenhut Company in 1903 that still had wide popularity with children, especially around the Christmas season.[2]

Before the discovery of multiple newspapers from 1908 and 1909 verifying the date in which the short was released, estimates of when the film was produced varied between animation experts and those who had worked on the short. Smith recalled making the film in 1898. Other experts such as Charles Solomon were skeptical of the film ever existing, as they would hypothesize that if the film existed, it would have likely been produced in 1904 due to both an evolution in toy manufacturing, as well as Vitagraph Studio's three-and-a-half year hiatus due to legal issues.[3]

Tjitte de Vries, co-author of They Thought it was a Marvel, stated his thoughts on the date briefly when he mentioned that Britain's Arthur Melbourne-Cooper's The Humpty Dumpty Circus from 1914 should not be confused with Blackton and Smith's work from 1908.[4] In fact, Donald Crafton, another expert in the field, believed that Blackton and Smith were inspired by the works of Melbourne-Cooper, as foreign filmography was making its way into the American market during Vitagraph's hiatus, and that they claimed to make the film at an earlier date in order to improve their reputation.

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References