L’horloge magique ou La petite fille qui voulait etre princesse (1928)
Article 5911 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Wladyslaw Starewicz
Featuring Nina Star, Bogdan Zoubowitch
What it is: Astounding fantasy
A clock-maker creates a clock that tells the story of a princess’s love for a man who must battle an evil black knight. When the story is about to end in tragedy, the clock-maker’s little girl breaks the clock, and then falls into a fever dream where she becomes a princess and may herself need a prince to rescue her…
Here’s another stunning work from animator Wladyslaw Starewicz. I am in awe of the breadth of imagination of this man; between the live-action segments he manages to create two whole elaborate fantasy worlds full of outrageous and bizarre creatures, all fascinating and lovingly animated. Granted, the story is a bit hard to make out (the narration is in French), but I think the story is secondary; it’s the creation of these amazing worlds and characters that brings things to life. I’m probably repeating myself, but I find his work breath-taking.