Photo album archive of original photographs from George Pal's Puppetoons studio, circa 1932
N.p. N.p., Circa 1932. Original photo album archive consisting exclusively of exquisitely shot vernacular photographs from George Pal's studio in Germany, shot shortly after he left his native Hungary, where he developed his famous Puppetoons technique of stop-motion animation. With Pal's bookplate to front free end-paper and his ownership stamp to inside front and back covers. 68 vintage photographs, all mounted with adhesive to 39 leaves, rectos only, along with some related material. Ostensibly complete.
George Pal is perhaps best remembered as the producer of several science fiction and fantasy films in the 1950s, including "When Worlds Collide" (1951) and "The War of the Worlds" (1953). He also directed "Tom Thumb" (1958), "The Time Machine" (1960),and "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962).
Prior to his emigration, however, Pal had a varied and successful career in Europe, where he developed the Puppetoon method. Puppetoons are a form of replacement animation, in which a series of different hand-carved wooden puppets (or puppet parts) are substituted in each frame, as opposed to traditional stop-motion animation, where a single puppet is used.
Pal won an honorary Oscar in 1943 for this intricate, time consuming technique, which is illustrated here with loving accuracy, revealing Pal's methodology and vision. The majority of the photographs are production images and action stills from "Midnight" (1932), an early Pal advertising effort featuring dancing cigarettes, widely recognized as the first Puppetoon animation.
In addition to the photographs from "Midnight," a set of 17 photographs titled “Heiraten und nicht verzweifeln” (“Spouses do not despair”), likely contemporary, advertising a household cleaning product. Finally, eight German press clippings on Pal and his methods are mounted to the final six leaves.
A rich and handsome album, documenting at least several commercial animation projects undertaken by Pal before his emigration to the US, and likely produced for showcasing Pal’s early advertising shorts to perspective clients. An exceptional record of animation history and production, illustrating the kind of methodology that is typically lost to time.
Original screw bound linen boards. Binding lacking one screw, else Fine.
See all items in: 1930s Cinema, Advertising, Animation, Experimental Film, Film Ephemera, Photographs, Vernacular Photography