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Peludópolis (Lost 1931 Animated Movie)

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Quirino Cristiani "Making Peludopolis" (1930)-004:43

Quirino Cristiani "Making Peludopolis" (1930)-0

A four minute making-of feature of Peludópolis, made in 1930.

Peludopolis-de-quirino-cristiani

Argentine advertisement poster for the film.

Quirino Cristiani was an Italian-born, Argentine animator and director, best known for his political satires and his unique animation style, using cardboard cutouts instead of hand drawn animation. Cristiani made three animated films, all of which are lost (including El Apóstol, which is considered to be the first animated feature film in history), but, perhaps his most notable lost film was his last, Peludópolis.

The original plot for Peludópolis was another political satire for Cristiani; it revolved around then Argentine president, Hipolito Yrigoyen, floating around his boat Peludo City (which represented Argentina) while constantly being harassed by hungry sharks (the Radicals). However, a year into production for the film, president Yrigoyen was ousted by a military coup d'état, and production on the film halted.

Still wanting this film to see the light of day, Critiani began de-emphasizing Yrigoyen and the sharks and started adding in the generals that overthrew Yrigoyen as the heroes. During this time, Cristiani added an everyman character named Juan Pueblo to act as the moral center of the film. After the delay and plot rearrangement, Peludópolis was finally released on September 16, 1931.

The single most notable feature of Peludópolis was the fact that it was the first animated film to be released with sound. Cristiani added this feature part way through production, before the plot had been rearranged, using a second disk to record the sound that was to play alongside the movie. While sound on film systems did exist at the time, Argentine theaters were simply unable to support the system. Peludópolis included multiple songs during the film, none of which, sadly, are known.

In both 1957 and 1961, fires broke out where the now retired Cristiani stored his films, destroying most of, if not all of his work. Among the lost materials included the only prints of Peludópolis left in existence, meaning that it is highly unlikely, if not impossible, we will ever see this revolutionary film again. A making-of feature of the film however, along with several stills and the poster for the film, still survive.

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