(Note: This drawing is used on all of the inter-title cards for this silent film)

Made in 1922 while Starewicz was in Paris, this film (also known as "The Frogs who Wanted a King") is a fable in the best Aesop tradition... the moral:

Be careful what you ask for... you might get it!



The Frogs of Frogland think they need a king... they beg Jupiter (their human god?) to send them one. First, he sends a Wooden King.



The frogs realize the Wooden King doesn't do anything (he can just barely roll his eyes...), so they ask Jupiter for "a better King".



Jupiter complies... he sends a Stork King.

Stork Swallows Frog!
Click this picture for a 282K movie

Storks, of course, eat frogs.
Hiding Underwater
Too late, the Frogs realize the error of their ways. They plead for help from Jupiter, while hiding underwater.

(This is a technically interesting scene... the frog puppets seem to be in an aquarium, but the bubbles flowing through the aquarium move in sync with their speech... it doesn't look like stop-motion, in other words. He may have used puppets on "rods" for this)

Jupiter gives 'em hell

Jupiter is now irritated beyond belief, and "Gives 'em Thunder" (actually lightning). These naughty frogs won't bother anyone ever again.


I first found this film on Rhino Video's excellent out-of-print Weird Cartoons collection. Although the Rhino print does not credit Starewicz, other sources have verified my suspicion that it is his.

The frog puppets, and some of Starewicz' others, were recently (still are?) on display in the Museum of the Moving Image in London. They are also seen in Nose to the Wind and Winter Carousel.

This film makes a brief appearance in the 1996 major motion picture BASQUIAT, about the rise and fall of Andy Warhol's famous "discovery." Although we don't see enough of "Frogland" in this film, it is quite relevant... Basquiat became the toast of the art world almost overnight, but the stress and fame ultimately killed him... "Be Careful What You Ask For."


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The rest of the Ladislas Starevich site:

A Short Biography
The Other "-Ographies" : Filmography, Videography, Bibliography and Puppetography (Revised 10/2/99)
Frogland (Revised 10/2/99)
The Mascot, a/k/a Puppet Love, a/k/a The Devil's Ball (Revised 10/2/99)
Nose to the Wind
Winter Carousel (Revised 10/2/99)
The Cameraman's Revenge (Revised 10/2/99)
The Insect's Christmas (Revised 10/2/99)
Voice of the Nightingale (Revised 10/2/99)
Tale of the Fox (Revised 10/2/99)
Short Takes: "The Scarecrow", "Town Rat, Country Rat"
Back to Animation of Heaven & Hell! Home Page

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This page was created in October, 1995
It was last updated October 2, 1999