LA PETITE CHANTEUSE DES RUES (1924)
aka The Little Street Singer
Article 4924 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Wladyslaw Starewicz
Featuring Nina Star
What it is: Charming fantasy
After her and her mother are thrown out of their home by a cruel landlord, a little girl, along with her pet monkey, tries to fend for herself by becoming a street singer. When they encounter the landlord again, the monkey decides to take things into his own hands…
I was a little surprised at first at how this movie seemed to be live-action; after all, Starewicz was known for his animation. However, a little ways into the short, you notice that the monkey isn’t always played by a monkey; it is sometimes, in fact, an animated Starewicz creation. It’s the antics and cleverness of the animated monkey that add the elements of the fantastic to this little tale; it’s called on to perform tasks that display an uncommon intelligence for an animal. Starewicz adds so much character to this creation (and he doesn’t do a bad job with an animated snake that pops up as well) that it makes this short a thoroughly charming affair. Plus, it all has a happy ending. I truly enjoy this man’s work.