Projectors de cinema infantil
March 10, 2013 10:07 PM   Subscribe

Here is a little collection of crude but oddly charming Spanish and French animation, originally created for children's hand-cranked film projectors, from 1932 to 1952.

Also from Spain's Museu del Cinema, here's a YouTube playlist of several very short videos showing various early animation machines and devices like the Zoetrope and Reynaud's Toupie Fantoches and more.

NOTE: one of the animations included in the collection is, typically for the times, overtly racist in its depiction of grass-skirt wearing, big lipped African "natives". Posting this link should not, however, be seen as any kind of personal endorsement of this kind of racist stereotype.
posted by flapjax at midnite (2 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
That poor dog.
posted by RobotHero at 11:15 PM on March 10, 2013

Optical toys like these still captivate me. That Girona Cinema Museum has one sharp collection of 'tropes & 'scopes.

That the cartoons themselves have a YouTube following says much about the quality these toymakers put into their projectors. The Cine Skob and Cinema Isuar animations are unique in that they have a duration and frame rate high enough to tell a complete story. Cel animation was commonplace when these toys were made, but it's clear that each energetic frame was illustrated flipbook-style, with the background re-drawn each time.

The toy projectors that display these animations are fine examples of design and engineering. Technically, they're an evolutionary dead end, but replacing film with paper and cardboard is a clever compromise for an affordable and accessible toy using the technology of the day. Historically, they reflect the genesis of industies that dominate the 21st century: The Cartoon Network, Xbox, and iPad all share elements that the inventors of the Cine NIC, Cine Skob and Cine Isuar first introduced into homes.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 10:28 AM on March 11, 2013

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