This film is part of Free

Studies in Animal Motion

Captivating slow-motion and quadrupeds aplenty in this fascinating look at animal movement

Interest film 1922 10 mins Silent


Slow-motion photography is put to educational - and surprisingly beautiful - use in this short film explaining the variety of ways animals leap, slither and glide. From mountain goats with their pointed hooves to the toad's lightning-fast tongue and even the humble snail, slow-motion revealed these wonders to 1920s cinema audiences. Boxing with a kangaroo, though it does perfectly demonstrate the animal's ability to balance on its legs and tail, is less appealing to modern sensibilities.

This film was part of the Secrets of Nature series, made by British Instructional Films between 1922 and 1933 and covering a panoply of natural history themes, from plant life and birds to insects and the secrets of the ocean. This instalment has suffered damage to the film stock in several places, giving the entertaining illusion of kangaroo and sea lion disappearing into thin air mid-leap.