WILLIE’S MAGIC WAND (1907)
Article 4944 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Walter R. Booth
What it is: Silent trick film
A young boy absconds with a magic wand and uses it to create mischief.
I managed to locate a copy of this film on YouTube. However, based on the elaborate description of the plot on IMDB, I can only conclude that the print is not complete; it seems to be missing one or two pranks and the ending (in which the boy is punished for his mischief by being turned into a girl) is also missing. Enough of it exists, however, that I decided to let it qualify. The plot is the standard comic one for early trick films; a youngster gets hold of an invention or magical object, runs around and creates chaos by using it, and then gets his comeuppance. This one does have one of my favorite scenes of mischief in it; I find it amusing that, much to the consternation of the cook, the boy brings a big dead fish back to life, which then proceeds to wreak havoc. Since the object of use is a magic wand, there’s a bit more variety of mischief than is usually found in a short like this. The short cuts off in the middle of a stop-motion sequence where he gets some boots to clean themselves off. From what I’ve seen, this one is not bad.