Dreams of Toyland (1908)

Article 4646 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-5-2014
Directed by Arthur Melbourne Cooper
Cast unknown
Country: UK
What it is: Early stop-motion animation

A mother takes her little boy to a toy store, where he picks out an assortment of toys. That night he dreams the toys come to life.

This short is half real-life and half stop-motion animation; it is the dream that is fully animated. At heart, it seems like a pretty standard trick short with no real plot; once you get to the dream, you expect nothing more than whimsical, happy scenes of toys moving of their own accord. Then you start to notice things; the little toy who is running from a bus that is trying to chase him down, the bear attacking passers-by, various animals attacking the toys and vehicles running them downโ€ฆno, this short is anything but whimsical and happy, and the word “dreams” can be taken rather ironically here. The stop motion is fun, if primitive, and I did like how the dark turn added some variety to the action at hand. I managed to find this on YouTube.

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