Paper and I (1953)
Article 5482 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: Educational short
A young boy is about to pop a paper sack when it comes to life and takes him on a journey to discover how paper is made and what the world would be like without paper.
This is an example of film ephemera, a term for those movies that are made not for showing to a general audience in a theatrical setting, but for a select audience in a different environment. This is most likely an educational film to be shown in the classroom. It uses a common approach to teaching its subject by having a supernatural visitor appear to someone and instruct them on the ins and outs of its subject; in this case, a talking paper bag teaches a little boy about paper – where it comes from and its various uses. This one is a little more entertaining than most in that it delves into some subplots that most other movies of its ilk would ignore; the family of the little end up being very concerned about their little boys’ strange attachment to his paper bag, and, in a darkly comic twist, the paper bag’s face ages as the short progresses and he eventually requests that the boy perform a mercy killing on him, a sequence which proves hilarious even with its dark undertones.