D’Artagnan the Lion

La maison des lions
R: Louis Feuillade. D: Renée Carl, Paul Manson, Gaston Modot, Jean Toulout, Marthe Vinot, D’Artagnan the lion. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1912
Print: EYE collection
Dutch titles

“The lion comedy originated in Europe. In Cretinetti nella gabbia dei leoni (1910), André Deed argues with a lion tamer, who takes revenge by tossing Deed into a lion’s cage. Deed succeeds in escaping the cage, but he is so upset by the experience that he is haunted by the visions of lions. Deed is sitting in a movie theatre watching one of his own films, when actual lions get loose in the theatre. (…) French filmmaker Alfred Machin produced travel films about big-game hunting prior to supervising comedy productions at Pathé’s Comica studios. Machin, who knew that a large-fanged predator coul thrill an audience, cast his pet panther Mimir in a number of comedies, including Babylas vient d’hériter d’une panthère (1911) (…) The trend continued with the Eclair comedy Gavroche fait une riche marriage (1912), in which a suitor seeks to impress a rich American woman by showing up at her house with a pair of lions. The same year, the Gaumont comedy La maison des lions (released in America as ‘House of Lions’) depicted lions escaping from a private menagerie and invading a fashionable party.”
Anthony Balducci: The Funny Parts: A History of Film Comedy Routines and Gags. McFarland 2011, p. 56

Another lion comedy from France:

Gare! Les lions!
R: Unknown. D: Paul Bertho. P: Lux. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
German titles

Bertho was a fixture in French comedy films from 1908 to 1914. He played the same character at three different studios, although he was required to vary the character’s name for legal reasons. So, he was called Patouillard at Lux, Gavroche at Éclair, and Calino at Pathé Frères. He was renamed Bill and later Funnicus for the U. S. market. (…) In the 1912 comedy Gare! Les lions!, Patouillard hides in a suit of armor to protect himself from a lion. The title translates into English as ‘Beware!  The Lions!’, but the film was released in the United States under the title ‘Bill and The Lions’.”
Anthony Balducci’s Journal

The same subject in Italy:

Polidor e i gatti
R: Ferdinand Guillaume. K: Giuseppe Berta. D: Ferdinand Guillaume,  signor Ranieri. P: Pasquali e C. It 1913
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema

“When the householder decides to go on a journey, he recommends the house and his beloved cats to the waiter Polidor, but he cannot imagine the unexpected turns events will take in his absence: distracted, Polidor lets the cats flee, and so he decides to replace them with beautiful felines stolen from the circus…”

“The circus clown turned into film comedian was typical of the early film comedy. In 1910 Ferdinando Guillaume (1887-1977) and his well-bred European circus family were enrolled by the Cines company. Well-known as the character Tontolini, Guillaume was also known in Britain and the US as Jenkins. Beginning as an actor, he later became a director, rivaling Itala’s trump André Deed aka Cretinetti. Guillaume contributed to Italy’s international reputation in the field of comedy. In the autumn of 1911, he moved from Rome to the Pasquali company of Turin and since the Cines company had claimed the name of Tontolini, Guillaume created the new character of Polidor, continuing his double profession of leading actor and metteur-en-scène. Deed’s return to France and Guillaume’s more mature and complex style, earned him more popularity and esteem, increasing his output to four films a month during the years 1912-1913.”
Ivo Blom: All the Same or Strategies of Difference. Early ltalian Comedy in International Perspective

>>> Polidor and Tontolini

Explicitly Oedipal

Le nain (Partie 1/2)
R: Louis Feuillade. B: Louis Feuillade. K: Georges Guérin. D: Delphin, Renée Carl, Suzanne Grandais, Marthe Vinot. P: Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont. Fr 1912

“A manuscript is mysteriously delivered to a playhouse where it is eventually turned into a major hit with critics calling it a masterpiece. The only problem is that no one knows who wrote it. The actress of the play receives a call from the author and the two quickly becomes friends but the man won’t give any details about himself because he doesn’t want her to know that he’s actually a dwarf. This leads up to the woman getting his address and stopping by to pay a visit. (…)”
Michael Elliott

“Feuillade’s Le Nain (1912) explores a (…) explicitly oedipal infatuation.”
Richard Abel: The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema. 1896-1914. Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1994, p. 335