JENKINS AND THE DONKEY (1911)
aka Tontolini e l’asino
Article 5178 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: Silly comedy
A schoolboy steals a donkey and a bunch of balloons to join a parade, but ends up airborne along with the beast.
Here’s one that entered my “ones that got away” list a few days ago, and it prompted someone to point my way to an abbreviated version that was online; all it’s missing is part of the beginning, the ending, and a few title cards. It is a fairly amusing little short, but given the fact that the title character is holding the balloons which are otherwise not connected to the donkey, I can only marvel at the strength of his thighs at being able to carry the beast with him once he gets airborne. The Walt Lee guide describes the comic business with the balloons making the character airborne as the fantastic content, but if that seems more like comic exaggeration than full-blown fantastic content, then be aware that the story eventually deals with their encounter with angels as well. It’s silly, but fun.