PETIT JULES VERNE (1907)
Article 4786 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Gaston Velle
What it is: Whimsical tribute to Verne
A little boy reads an adventure story by Jules Verne before going to bed, and dreams about him afterwards.
This is a cute tribute to Jules Verne that references a few of his works; the opening bit in which a train goes around the world probably refers to “Around the World in Eighty Days”, and it’s followed by an outer space sequence that probably refers to “Around the Moon”. Then the boy takes a trip in a balloon; this could refer to any of a number of Verne stories. Then he ends up on the bottom of the ocean, which would have referenced “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” if a submarine had showed up; instead, he encounters a group of dancing underwater nymphs (which references nothing from Verne, but was typical of shorts from this period) and wrestles an octopus. It’s a pretty typical special effects film of the period, but it is nice to find one that actually mentions by name a man who inspired so many of them.