Dreams of Toyland (Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, 1908)

A young boy dreams that his toys come to life.

Watch here.

Another example of the fine curiosities available on the brilliant BFI Player. I recently discovered this was pre-loaded onto my TV (a Samsung) so I’ve been watching some pretty obscure silent films in my lounge in all their glory.*

This film is well worth watching as the director attempts a highly elaborate stop-motion sequence that lasts for well over half of the total running time. It must have taken hours to create and should be marvelled at given its age – 106 years old. You can imagine the painstaking attention to detail that has gone into it. There’s almost no chance he had a pre-written storyline for the characters and this free-spirited approach has lent itself to a lot of creativity, which in turn succeeds in reflecting a child’s dreams as inspired by a trip to the toy shop.

A must for fans of quirky silent cinema!

* I’ve also been suffering from insomnia recently but silent films are the perfect indulgence if you’re in bed and don’t want to disturb your wife whilst not wasting your time counting sheep!

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