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The Birth of the Robot 1936

  • 1936-01-01
  • 6 mins
  • Len Lye
  • English
  • Animation

This experiment was a “prestige advertisement” for Shell Motor Oil.
As conventional animation became dominated by Walt Disney, many European filmmakers turned to puppets as an alternative, and Lye enlisted the help of avant-garde friends such as Humphrey Jennings and John Banting to make the amusing puppets. Exploring the still-complex color process, which involved the combination of three separate images, Lye creates such a vivid storm scene that reviewers hailed it as “proof that the color film has entered a new stage.” The music is Holst’s The Planets. - Harvard Film Archive

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