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The Living Playing Cards (1905)

by Nicholas Sammond

A magician shows the audience a card as part of a trick. Realizing that they cannot see the card, he enlarges it until it is life size on a screen behind him. He continues to work "magic" on the card and transforms it into the Queen of Hearts. He animates her, bringing her to life and then back into a card again. He changes the card to the King of Clubs and repeats, only to reveal himself in the King's costume. This sequence harks back to earlier animated films, such as those of Winsor McCay directly showing the "magic" of the "magician" (animator) involved in the art of animation, and the implications regarding whether or not the animator has true control over the creation.

The Living Playing Cards

A magician increasingly enlarges a playing card for his audience to see, until it is life-size. He then changes the card to a few of the face cards, animating real people out of and back into them, finally animating himself in and out as well.

from The Living Playing Cards (1905) (1905)
Creator: Georges Méliès
Posted by Nicholas Sammond