Aesop's Fables > Aesop's Artifacts > Audio-Visual > Paper Cartoon Movies

Paper Cartoon Movies

1950?  NIC Ancien Dessin Animé.  La Cigale et la Fourmi.  Paper Cartoon Movie.  €2 from cartapapier on Ebay, August, '23.

Here is a fascinating surprise!  I had no idea how this little offering worked.  It came as a spindle containing a roll of paper inside a broken sheath in an old box with a hand-written title.  A little work reveals that there is some beautiful artwork and good storytelling on this product itself.  And the product is a fascinating, if timebound, product of ingenuity.

I found a website explaining the NIC system:  The unusual thing about the paper film is that it has upper and lower images.  Viewed quickly alternatively, the paired images create a quick repeated action, like walking or working.  A rather large and complex projector had a crank for moving this paper movie through.  I cannot tell how long the projector would linger on a given pair of alternating images.  I scanned the paper in two halves and provide also an image of what a better box and sheath look like.  Fascinating!  And all of this for €2!

By the way, I found a list of NIC movies and checked to see if our GA is the only fable movie.  It turns out that there is a paper movie of FC.  Now to find it!

To help offer a sense of the lovely detail in this movie, I offer two detail sections: the ants playing pool and smoking in winter and the grasshopper dying.

First Half

Second Half

Packaging and Mechanism

Detail of Ants Playing Pool and Smoking in Winter

Detail of Grasshopper Freezing and Dying