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Short Animated Film: Echoes Of Bats And Men

Learn all about Rhode Island’s Industrial Revolution from a pair of singing skunks in the charming animated short film Echoes of Bats and Men by Jo Dery, embedded above. But, like all great, monumental man-made achievements, it all eventually becomes abandoned and gets taken over by swarms of bats.

In addition to being a filmmaker, Dery is also an interdisciplinary artist who produces drawings, prints and small-press books, which all seems especially fitting as this animated film looks as though it’s created primarily out of cut-out paper drawings. That look, along with the educational bent of the story reminds me of those cartoons they’d stick into old episodes of Sesame Street. Actually, I don’t know if the show does that anymore, but it did when I was a kid.

Drawing of a bat hanging upside-down in a bell tower

And there are some live-action sequences of real bats inserted towards the end of the film. However, according to this interview with Dery on Little Otsu, those were filmed in Texas and not Rhode Island.

Also, if this cute little film has interested you in learning more about bats, there was actually a book published in 1959 called Echoes of Bats and Men that’s available to read on Archive.org. It was written by Donald R. Griffin as part of the Science Study Series of educational books for secondary school kids.

But, what you should really check out are more of Dery’s films on Vimeo. Plus, she has an official website that’s currently under re-construction and a blog so you can keep up with what she’s working on.


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