This Early Stop Motion/Live Action Short Really Lays An Egg – It’s A Bird (1930)

This intriguing short film from 1930 is entitled It’s a Bird and features comedian Charley Bowers interacting with some very interesting stop-motion animated creatures.

For those who have never heard of Bowers (as I hadn’t until I ran across this) here’s a bit of biography on him, taken from Wikipedia:

cbThe son of Dr. Charles E. Bowers and his wife, Mary I. Bowers, Charles Raymond Bowers was born in Cresco, Iowa. His early career was as a cartoonist on the Mutt and Jeff series of cartoons for the Barré Studio. By the late 20s, he was starring in his own series of slapstick comedies for R-C Pictures and Educational Pictures. His slapstick comedies, a few of which have survived, are an amazing mixture of live action and animation created with the “Bowers Process.” Complex Rube Goldberg gadgets also appear in many of his comedies. Two notable films include Now You Tell One with a memorable scene of elephants marching into the U.S. Capitol, and There It Is, a surreal mystery involving the Fuzz-Faced Phantom and MacGregor, a cockroach detective. He made a few sound films such as It’s a Bird and Wild Oysters, and wrote and illustrated children’s books in his later years. For eight years during the 1930s he lived in Wayne, New Jersey, and drew cartoons for the Jersey Journal. After succumbing to severe arthritis, his wife started drawing them under his direction.

Having seen that, I’m curious to check out more of his work. Wikipedia notes that a collection of what is known to have survived was released by Image Entertainment in 2004. It’s definitely something I think I’m going to have to track down.

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