AnimatorsClassicDocumentaryFeature Film

Quirino Cristiani documentary

A 2008 documentary about pioneer Argentine animator Quirino Cristiani (1896-1984) has just been released on DVD. Cristiani made the first silent animated feature, El Apóstol (The Apostle) in 1917, pre-dating Snow White by 20 years, and the first sound animated feature Peludopolis in 1931, beating Disney by six years. Quirino Cristiani – The Mystery of the First Animated Movies was directed by English/Italian filmmaker Gabriele Zucchelli, and is now available through this website. Here’s the trailer:

(Thanks, Giannalberto Bendazzi)

  • dna

    Congrats Gabriele and team!
    I’m very curious and can’t wait to watch this. Thanks!

  • Joel

    Great idea for a documentary! Always wanted to know more about the Apostolo film. Will definately see this!

  • I saw a screening of this and the documentary plays a little like a detective story, trying to track down the elusive films and film maker. But don’t expect to see any of the two feature film both were lost in two separate fires, I believe all they found was a singe frame from El Apóstol.

  • For someone who’s both so notable in early animation as well as largely unknown since most of his work doesn’t exist anymore this look like a must watch.

    If they come out with an NTSC version I’ll definitely give it a watch.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Release date?

  • I was gonna make a comment that in making-of documentaries excessive usage of clips from the actual film is considered filler material, that really only applies to docs about films that everyone has seen. I’d rather see rare behind the scenes footage of the making of Star Wars than descriptions of it played under clips of the movie, for example.

    But in the case of this trailer, I was frustrated by not getting to see any clips of his films, because I (and I’m sure many others) had never heard of this guy, much less seen any of his work.

    Now that I know that footage no longer exists due to a fire, I am much less disappointed in the trailer, but it might’ve still been worth mentioning in the trailer that the footage no longer exists. They could even make a dramatic point of it in the trailer by mentioning how this timeless piece of history was lost to a fire, and this documentary is the most complete account we have of this man’s incredible story.

    Otherwise my immediate and first reaction to that trailer (and other similar trailers) is that they didn’t actually get the rights to show the clips, which shows a lack of production value on the documentarians’ part.

  • Anna Godas

    A must-have DVD for anyone who loves, works, cares about animation. Anna Godas. CEO Dogwoof. UK leading documenatry distributor.
    Very few people know about pioneer animator Quirino Cristiani. Cristiani made the first silent animated feature and the first sound animated feature ever.
    This is what this DVD is one of the most important DVDs around about
    the origins of animation, and a must-see for anyone who cares about
    animation. It’s a great piece of work as well. I full-heartedly
    recommend it. Anna Godas. Dogwoof CEO.