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Fairy tales constituted one of the earliest and most successful forms of elaborate storytelling on film, notably Georges Méliès's CINDERELLA (1899) and BLUE BEARD (1902). Inspired by such European achievements, Porter made this ten-shot fiction film that told its story in a clear, yet elaborate manner. It represented a new level of achievement at the Edison Manufacturing Company's studio. Not only are the sets highly detailed and consistent in their stylization (all were shot in the studio), but the action moves smoothly from one shot to the next. Elegant dissolves link the scenes together in the style of a magic lantern show. An immensely popular bedtime story and popular magic lantern program, the film was pre-sold. This familiarity had the added benefit of making it easier for spectators to follow the unfolding narrative.

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