THE PHABLE OF A BUSTED ROMANCE (1916)
Article 5293 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Tom E. Powers and Raoul Barre
What it is: Early animation
A man returns a purse to a rich lady. What will be his reward?
Most of the early animation I’ve covered so far has been from innovators and pioneers like Emile Cohl, Winsor McCay and Wladyslaw Starewicz. Their stuff is outstanding and fascinating. However, there was also a lot of early animation that is primitive and forgettable; here’s one of them. It’s a somewhat confusing moral fable about a man who gets rewarded for a good deed in such a way that leaves him actually worse off than before, though it’s difficult to glean exactly what we’re to learn here. And the fantastic content? There’s no anthropomorphic animals here, and there’s really nothing in the story to merit the fantastic label. The closest I can get is that the main character’s “car” looks vaguely science-fictiony, and before the abrupt cutoff, I thought I might have seen a couple of dolls walking of their own volition, but this went by so fast that I’m probably mistaken. At any rate, this one is hardly essential viewing.