LE CAUCHEMAR DE FANTOCHE (1908)
Article 4620 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Emile Cohl
What it is: Early animation
Fantoche has a nightmare.
So, what kind of nightmare would Fantoche have? Well, given that this is directed by Emile Cohl, I’m guessing it involves stream-of-consciousness animation, and that’s exactly what we have here. Fantoche is set upon by any number of of shapeshifting objects, such as coffeepots, funnels, giant heads, elevators, fishermen, etc. He even gets to play with his own head like a ball for a bit. It moves pretty fast, runs only a little over two minutes, and has no real ending, but then, it has no real story; it’s just a succession of surreal images and events. As such, though, it’s a fun short to watch, and doesn’t go on so long that it gets old.
NOTE I’ve been informed that Fantoche is not a name, but the word for puppet. I stand corrected.