This film is part of Free

Jealous Doll, Or, The Frustrated Elopement

Toy Story meets Fatal Attraction in this tale of an Edwardian childhood romance scuppered by poor finances and a stalking dolly

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1909 4 mins


As first dates go, few can be as memorable as this imaginative tale of Edwardian childhood romance. Our top-hatted male suitor is a little young to elope, but he makes his best efforts to impress his girl, hailing a horse-drawn carriage to ride to a restaurant for a slap-up meal. But what makes the film really stand out is the part played by the girl’s doll, who resents being left behind with the dozing nanny and decides to stalk our young couple, before returning to raise the alarm.

Filmmaker Percy Stow was no stranger to invention and ambition in his filmmaking, as demonstrated by his part in the 1903 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Six years on, and the still-recent discovery of frame-by-frame stop-motion animation was the key in bringing the doll to life for this tale. The clear difficulties the production team found in mixing live-action and animation highlight the risks of ambitious filmmaking, but the strangely gothic delight of a vengeful plaything in pursuit of its owner makes clear the rewards.