A Japanese Peach Boy (1910) Short, Fantasy · 1 February 1910
The story begins with the finding of a wonderful peach which comes floating down a small stream and is brought to shore by a little Japanese woman, who takes it to her home. It there transpires that she and her husband are still mourning the loss of a baby, and the wonderful peach when it is cut brings healing to their sorrow, for as the father's hands separate the two parts of the luscious fruit, between them miraculously appears the figure of a tiny baby. It is a real Japanese baby (which no one could by any chance mistake tor a doll) and the parents' joy is very great. We next see the boy grown to eight years of age and the object of the loving affection of his parents. On their way home from the same little river, down which he came floating in the peach, they are forced to pass a cavern inhabited by Japanese ogres, monsters of most fearful mien, half-human and half-animal. The young mother and the boy are attacked by the ogres, and the boy draws his tiny sword and vigorously defends her; but even though he cuts off the tail of the lion they are overpowered, and the monsters are carrying him away to their cave, when the mother sees a pile of stones and uses them with such good effect that the monsters are driven off and she and the boy make their escape. But he has lost his little sword in the fight, and when we see him in a later scene at the ripe age of eighteen, he is announcing his determination of going back to the cavern, conquering the ogres and recovering the weapon. His father and mother suggest that he will shake so with fear that he will be unable to carry out his purpose, but, becoming convinced of his son's bravery, the father loans him his own "honorable sword." On the way to the cavern the boy meets three friends (at least they seem to be such), each of which, on being provided a part of the food from the boy's basket, agrees to fight for him. The three friends are the ape, the pheasant and the dog. But when they reach the gateway before the cavern's mouth the first two desert him, and only the dog remains, as always, the faithful one. With his master, he bursts through the gate and they descend into the cavern. Then we are shown a scene of exceptional beauty, for the cavern is a wonderful place, in spite of its uncouth inhabitants. Its floor is littered with the spoils of many robberies and among them the boy sees his little lost sword. But now the monsters appear, their leader, a sort of wild man of remarkable agility (the part is played by a wonderful Japanese acrobat). He attacks our small hero and a typical Japanese duel ensues. Of course, virtue and courage are triumphant, and when the wild man lies slain his fellow monsters creep back into their holes in the rocks. Meanwhile, the dog, ever on the alert, discovers a wonderful box, to which he calls his little master's attention. When it is opened the youth starts back at the sight of a huge snake, but when he bravely takes it in his hand it transforms before our eyes into a magic wand and the box is filled with gold and jewels. With such success our hero returns to his parents. Their joy at his safe homecoming is turned to wonder when, producing the magic wand, he waves it and transforms their humble cottage into a glittering palace hung with Japanese lanterns through the door of which is seen a lake with swans upon its surface, while dancing Geisha girls appear in mystic figures of the Japanese dance and suddenly disappear into thin air. This transformation scene is beautiful beyond description. - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis
Director(s): Ashley Miller Cast: Madame Pilar-Morin, Gladys Hulette
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