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Prins Electron

1954

Prince Electron (1954)

Phillipa Ray shines like never before.

Puppet animation. Advertisement for Philips audio.

Animated puppet Opera

A singing princess weds her prince charming and moves to live in his kingdom. Now her people no longer can hear her sing, leading to great sadness everywhere. Prince Electron seeks a solution and finds it in Philips technology.

A magnificent film from the Joop Geesink vaults: Prince Electron (1954). This tour the force blending art direction, drama with a science fiction-like climax was very well-received everywhere. Newspapers noted the great taste applied in this advert. The beautiful puppets were designed by Henk Kabos. His creative direction received an honorable mention: the gorgeous sets, the dynamic use of camera moves, dramatic deep-yellow skies, a white horse rearing on its hind legs in flashes of lightning, the impressionistic set pieces and the "council of magicians". The impressive sets were designed by artist Eppo Doeve under the guidance of Kabos.

Even though Prince Electron exceeds Kermesse Fantastique (1951) on many levels, it never reached the same recognition. Two limiting factors may have been the blatant presence of the sponsor (Philips electronics) and the wordy title cards, slowing down the story. Other than that, this film is highly recommended.

For Prince Electron's musical framework Philips upped the ante by hiring the world famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Their music was, of course, recorded by Philips' proprietary Sound System. The soundtrack's budget is unknown, but it must have been significant.
The production time was 6 months.

The film would later receive a film award: 1st prize (1956) Fiera de Milano St.Marco Prize of Venice

Opmerkelijk

The film's opening credits announce "Starring - Philippa Ray", the name of the puppet princess and the principal player. This name is taken from an old George Pál puppet film (Philips Cavalcade, 1939), also for Philips, and in which a Philippa Ray performs as a jazz singer. Her first name is of course based on the name of the Philips company, with "Ray" added as a reference to (radio) waves. It's probably no accident that we see this name return. Art director Henk Kabos and director Joszef Misík both worked at George Pál's studio. Chief Public Relations for Philips Sies Numan was their client, meaning that the three of them were closely involved in the production of both films. Philippa Ray's comeback was in a way an artistic inside joke.
Another interesting tidbit is that in an early press release Sies Numan is quoted as saying that the princess's name would be "Bellonda", combining the French words for "beautiful" (belle) and "wave" (onda): Beautiful Wave.

Futuristic

The end shot of the public square is remarkable, as it showcases the world's first big screen TV projection unit. Very futuristic, as in 1954 even modest-sized TVs were still very much a novelty. Consider it a video wall/LED screen before the word even existed.

Reas also the newspaper item, The Telegraph, September 29th 1954.

Prince Electron (1954)
Prince Electron (1954)
Prince Electron (1954)
Prince Electron (1954)
Prince Electron (1954)
Prince Electron (1954)
Prince Electron (1956)

Prince Electron (1954)

Prince Electron (1954)

Prince Electron (1954)

Prince Electron (1954)

"video wall/LED screen before the word even existed -  Prince Electron (1954)

Title:Prince Electron
Client :Philips
Year of Production:1954
Duration:12 minutes
Music:Heinz Sandauer
Performed by:  Wiener Symphoniker
Sound System:Philips Sound System
Art Director:  :Henk Kabos
Direction/Animation:: Joszef Misík 
Animation assistent/Camera:  Jan Bouman
Backgrouunds:Eppo Doeve
Puppets: Harry Tolsma
Puppet ClothingLia Sten
Format:35 mm, Technicolor 
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