George Pal was the puppet animation pioneer who invented a system (Pal-Dolls) where he could interchange certain parts of the puppets, rendering it possible to reproduce all of the different manoeuvres that he wished.
Born in 1908, George Pal started working in Budapest (1928-1931), then in Berlin (1931-1933) before settling down in Eindhoven in the Netherlands where he earned recognition making films for the Dutch electronics company, Philips. The first three films in this programme come from this period, including his most popular picture, The Big Broadcast 1938.
With the war approaching, Pal immigrated to America where he signed a contract with Paramount Pictures and launched the production of Puppetoons, a series of dozens of shorts made between 1940 and 1947. Seven of these will be screened during the programme, three of which were nominated for an Oscar: Tulips Shall Grow, John Henry and the Inky-Poo and Tubby the Tuba.
Pal's short films bear a heavy musical influence, as he considered his work to be more like a variety show than an intriguing drama with a well-developed storyline. Like his emblematic character Jasper for example, who looks like he just stepped off the stage of a cabaret.