"They Thought It Was a Marvel": Arthur Melbourne-Cooper (1874-1961), Pioneer of Puppet Animation

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Drawing on hitherto unseen archival material and interviews, “They Thought It Was a Marvel” sketches an unforgettable portrait of British pioneer filmmaker Arthur Melbourne-Cooper. Tjitte de Vries and Ati Mul sift through several of Melbourne-Cooper’s films, emphasizing his contributions to early cinema while simultaneously arguing their case that Melbourne-Cooper’s Matches Appeal is the first animated film. Accompanying the book is a DVD that features the six surviving animated films made by Melbourne-Cooper.  

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About the Author:

Tjitte de Vries is a researcher and journalist. Ati Mul was for many years an archivist at the Holland Animation Society.


“This book makes the reader sit up and realize that this is not going to be just another boring academic text. . . . Because of the unusual interest of both authors on the subject, the study is way over and above that of any other academic writing on the subject.”

(Anthony Slide, author of Incorrect Entertainment)

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