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It's a Good Thing Those Dalmatians Were Black and White!!


Stars in the sidewalk
Have you seen the movie "102 Dalmatians" yet? You know, the story of mean old Cruella De Vil and those adorable little puppies?

It's a great movie, but it took a lot longer to make than it did for you to watch it! It's hard enough working with actors - just imagine what it takes to work with all those dogs! Trying to get them to do what you want them to do -- when you want them to do it -- must be hard!

Mann's Chinese Theater: a great place for a premiere
But the people who made that movie are experts. They've been doing it for a long, long time. Just think - when the first movies were made, there was no color. Everything, and everybody, was in black and white. That would be fine for the little black and white Dalmatians, but what about Cruella? And Jean Pierre Le Pelt? How dull they would be without color!

Not only that, but the first movies didn't have sound! They were silent. Actors would act their scenes, with their mouths moving, but nothing would come out. But every now and then the screen would show a white card with black words on it, letting people in the theater know what the actors were saying.

Rebecca doesn't say a word to silent film star Charlie Chaplin
Sometimes there was music - but only because a piano player or a band was inside the theater, with people like you and me, making music to go with the movie. Imagine that - instead of being able to sit in the front row where you hurt your neck just to see the screen, there would be a band there playing live music!

The first movies to have sound were called "talkies." Since they came out, lots of other changes have been made. A lot of the movies we see these days have "special effects," tricks that seem to make toys move on their own in "Toy Story 2" and that bring dinosaurs into our modern age. What other special effects can you think of?

The Hollywood sign today is a celebrity itself
You can visit these wizards in Hollywood, where the HOLLYWOOD sign sits on the side of a mountain and where stars in the sidewalk have the names of very famous actors and actresses. You can even see how big your hands are compared to theirs!


Please email me at: rebecca@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Irene - Red-hot and smokin' in the flappin' 20s
Nick - Batter up! How to make a quick $100,000
Jennifer - Hillbilly, foot stompin' good ol' time
Daphne - "Step right up and see it here first!"