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Fantasmagorie: The 'Bob’s Burgers' of 1908

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Animated characters have been entertaining us since way back in 1908, when the world's very first animated cartoon was put out into the world. This is that film, Fantasmagorie, a French animation by caricaturist Émile Cohl. 

Fantasmagorie is a largely confusing series of frames. The video follows a stick man through his interactions with various morphing objects, such as an elephant that turns into a house. The artist's hands appear various times through the short film, bringing the fantastical shots back into reality for a few moments. 

Fantasmagorie is so named after the Victorian-era "fantasmograph," another name for the magic lanterns that projected ghostly images onto the walls. 

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.


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