It's Friday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Our feature was written and directed by Georges Méliès, and, plays Prof. Barbenfouillis in this early sci-fi short from France. Estimated budget was 30,000 Francs. The story is based on the books "From the Earth to the Moon" by Jules Verne and "The First Men in the Moon" by H. G. Wells.
Georges had, get this, 553 short movie directing credits from 1896 to 1913!! A few titles are A TERRIBLE NIGHT, CONJURING, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, A NIGHTMARE, SEA BATHING, THE HALLUCINATED ALCHEMIST, THE DEVIL'S CASTLE, THE DEVIL'S LABORATORY, FOUR HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE, A TRIP TO THE MOON (1898), BLACK ART, A NOVICE AT X-RAYS, THE CAVE OF THE DEMONS, FANTASTICAL ILLUSIONS, THE DEVIL'S ISLAND, THE SNOW MAN, THE CLOWN AND THE AUTOMOBILE, THE DOCTOR AND THE MONKEY, THE DANGEROUS LUNATIC, THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY, THE CLOWN vs SATAN, THE HUMAN FLY, THE MAGICIAN AND THE IMP, BEWITCHED DUNGEON, ARTIST AND THE DUMMY, BEELZEBUB'S DAUGHTERS, THE MONSTER, FAUST IN HELL, THE CRAZY COMPOSER, SOAP BUBBLES, THE WITCH, TWO CRAZY BUGS, SEEIN' THINGS and THE GHOST OF SULFER MOUNTAIN! Wow, I'll bet those are some tough titles to come by!!..
Little Rufus The Gnat is here to start the show, so, push the big red 'GO' button there by the toaster oven, now, Rufus! Here's some silent music for... A TRIP TO THE MOON!
When you decide to go to the Moon, well, you have to build a spaceship first... In this case, a big bullet!
Hey, looks like something interesting's going on over there!
These Reubenesque beauties have the official duty of seeing the brave expolrers off!
After the colossal cannon shoots the capsule into space, it finally comes to rest on the iconic face of The Man In The Moon! Even in the great British comedy, THE MIGHTY BOOSH, The Man In The Moon is a regular character.
The explorers exit the capsule, then, are amazed when they watch the Earth rise into the sky.
Ballet girls from the Theatre du Chatelet were used in these scenes.
The explorers have to make their way through this amazing underground fungus garden!
Here are the leaders of the Moon with their army of skeletal warriors, the Selenites. The creatures were played by acrobats from the Folies-Bergere.
The explorers escape and make their way to the capsule, followed in hot pursuit by the Selenites. One of the men jumps onto the rope tied to the ship and pulls it off its rocky perch...
The capsule falls back to Earth and crashes into the ocean!
Georges Méliès used miniatures, matte paintings, animation, double exposure and other camera and stage tricks to achieve his images. Director D.W. Griffith said, "I owe him everything" and Charles Chaplin called him "the alchemist of light!"