Kaiser (lost Brazilian animated short film; 1917)

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Kaiser short film frame.jpeg

The only surviving frame of the film.

Status: Lost

Kaiser was a Brazilian animated short film, considered to be the first Brazilian animation. Produced by businessman and politician Sampaio Corrêa, the film was, in fact, an animated cartoon by cartoonist Seth, pseudonym of Álvaro Marins.[1] A critique of the German expansionism amid the tensions of World War I, the film showed Emperor William II sitting in front of a terrestrial globe and then putting his military helmet on "the head of the globe," representing that he "controls the world." However, the object comes to life and ends up swallowing the sovereign.

In Brazil, very short animations have been produced since 1908. However, Kaiser is considered the first true Brazilian animation because it was "conceived in a complete and systematic way, based on a narrative with a beginning, middle and end," and because it used a "complex technique."

Kaiser premiered on January 22nd, 1917, at Cine Pathé. The film has since been considered lost forever, with only one frame of it surviving. In 2013, the documentary Luz, Anima, Ação (Light, Animate, Action), by Eduardo Calvet, recreated Kaiser, with the collaboration of eight animators.