LA METAMORPHOSE DU PAPILLON (1904)
Article 4757 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Gaston Velle
What it is: Trick short
A caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly.
The metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly is a fairly common occurrence, so I’m not sure if it really qualifies as “fantastic content” in and of itself. However, this silent short isn’t a documentary. We see a puppet caterpillar crawling around a flower, which then fades into a cocoon. Then there’s a jump cut to an appearance of a butterfly, though, once again, it’s not a real butterfly. Perhaps the most startling moment is when the design of the butterfly’s wings magically transforms into another design, which I must admit is rather startling, and this moment alone causes the short to qualify as fantastic. I wasn’t sure at first how the butterfly special effect was handled, but the short eventually shows how it’s done, and I found the revelation charming. Once again, this is one of those shorts that is beautiful to look at, and the fact that it keeps things pretty short (it runs under two minutes) makes it work on that level. This one is very nice.