In the late 20’s, after graduating with a degree in architecture, George Pal, put his mind to using stop motion photography. He made what was later called Puppetoons, using puppets in place of animations. Pal was responsible for over 40 Puppetoons in the 40’s

A few of George Pal’s films ~

7 Faces of Dr Lao (1964)

East meets West in this tale of a town that is in jeopardy of being swindled. The mysterious Dr. Lao arrives in town. His Circus allows him to speak to the main residents in ways they need to hear. Though the philosophy is more Christian than Buddhist, Tony Randall does an amazing job at portraying different characters. His Chinese accent borders on racist, but he uses so many voices, it can get lost in the shuffle. Not your usual Western.

The Time Machine (1960)

It’s a shame that the time machine looks like it could be tipped over and broken apart without much effort, but it is a classic film, based on a classic story of H.G. Wells. It, too, has some Christian undertones about compassion in every century. Starring Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux. It’s a movie that must be seen.

Conquest of Space (1955)

George Pal produced this cheezy Sci-Fi, perfect for a Sunday afternoon! They tried to keep it scientific, making reference to growing plants to help the human race survive on other planets and other guesstimates of what life on another planet would be like. But after many years of these kinds of films, it’s a little hokey. In its day, it might have been taken in a different light. Evidently there were no black people in those days. There was a Japanese astronaut who gave an eloquent speech about helping his people who were in need, being so poor they had to sit on the floor, have few pieces of furniture and use chopsticks. There are very strong religious themes as the Captain questions the morality of space exploration. It’s fun, the special effects are not too bad for the 50’s (maybe thanks to Pal) and it has a message.

Some other films that George Pal produced or directed:  War of the Worlds (1953), When Worlds Collide (1951), Destination Moon (1950)

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