The Great Cognito (1982)
Article 5851 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Will Vinton
Featuring the voices of John Morrison, Tim Conner, Brian Bressler
What it is: Claymation comedy
An impressionist not only can imitate the voices of people from World War II, but his face can change into them as well.
What we have here is a Claymation short where an impressionist gives a rapid-fire monologue in which he imitates historical personalities from the WWII era not only with his voice, but his face transforms as well. The transformations get more bizarre and outrageous as the short progresses, even to the point where he’s imitating whole groups of people (like The Andrews Sisters) as well as inanimate objects (like battleships). It’s pretty amusing, and it reminded me a little of some silent special-effects shorts in which clay would transform itself into famous people (I remember one involving Teddy Roosevelt). Will Vinton was one of the founders of Claymation, and coined the term as well. I’ll probably be covering a few other items of his before I’m all over.