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Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend

by Nicholas Sammond

An example of early twentieth century intermediality, this short by Edison director Edwin S. Porter demonstrates the widespread popularity of Winsor McCay's newspaper comic strip, Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend. Borrowing directly from an installment of that comic, Porter uses trick photography to approximate McCay's fantastic imagery, which in every episode is spurred by eating Welsh rarebit right before going to sleep. Approximately a decade later, McCay would begin his own animated Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend series.

The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend

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This short-film is composed of live-action and animation, first showing the man eating the rarebit in question, only to have delirious dreams after.

from The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906)
Creator: Edwin S. Porter and Wallce McCutcheon
Distributor: Edison Films
Posted by Nicholas Sammond