1915: American Animation

Dreamy Dud. He Resolves Not to Smoke
R: Wallace A. Carlson. B: Wallace A. Carlson. P: Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. USA 1915
Print: Library of Congress

“The film suggests that Carlson was a dependent on McCay for ideas as for technical inspiration, because the Dreamy Dud of He Resolves Not to Smoke (Essanay 1915) was only a slightly transformed Little Nemo. There is even a ‘slumberland’ plot, and his oneiric name suggests that dreams might have been a frequent narrative device. First, Dud is introduced, with his dog, who performs some well-animated tricks. Both are finely rendered on a glaring white background. The precise drafting is reminiscent of McCay. There are endearing details, like Dud’s father’s slipper flipping off his foot as he snores. After Dud smokes his father’s pipe, the Spirit of Smoke takes the boy to the moon, where he witnisses some Cohl-style hallucinations. It is a charming film, but Dreamy Dud does not seem to have acquired a following and the series ended in 1917.”
Donald Crafton: Before Mickey: The Animated Film 1898-1928. University of Chicago Press 2015, p. 279-281

Keeping up with the Joneses. Women’s styles
R: Harry S. Palmer. B: Harry S. Palmer. P: Gaumont Co./Mutual Film Corp. USA 1915
Print: Library of Congress

“A domestic comedy about the McGinis family — husband Aloysius, wife Clarice, daughter Julie, and housemaid Belladonna. The simple story lines often parody society’s concern with material goods as an indicator of social standing, but the series was not as narrowly focused as the title implies. The Joneses were the McGinis’s neighbors, but were not depicted. They were referred to as objects of envy, with whom the McGinis family was ‘trying to keep up’. In this film Pa is appalled at the latest fashionable dresses worn by the women in his household.”
Library of Congress

Keeping up with the Joneses. Men’s styles
R: Harry S. Palmer. B: Harry S. Palmer. P: Gaumont Co./Mutual Film Corp. USA 1915
Print: Library of Congress

“These two samples are from a series begun in September 1915 based on the ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ newspaper comic by ‘Pop’ Momand. The films begin with ‘out of the inkwell’ drawings of the sort seen in Winsor McCay films and later elaborated by Max Fleischer. Like other comic strips and animated films of the era, notably Bringing Up Father (published from 1912; filmed 1916-18), Keeping Up with the Joneses features a husband oppressed by a wifes obsession with high society and consumer fashion. The series ended abruptly in February 1916 after its animator, Harry S. Palmer, lost a patent infringement suit brought by John Randolph Bray over the use of transparent celluloid sheets.”

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>>> Émile Cohl, Master of Animation