“Monsters of the Past” was released in 1923 and was the creation of sculptor Virginia May.  It is an American short silent documentary film made as part of the Pathe Review series.  The Pathe Review series was a series of newsreels, travelogues and other short non-fiction films produced by the Pathe film company.   The short is only about four minutes long.

Virginia is shown creating a T-Rex out of clay in mere seconds.  As she is molding the clay you can see that the film is being shown in reverse.  What appears to be a bunch of clay being molded into a wonderful sculpture is really a nice depiction of a T-Rex being dismantled.

Included in the short are a brontosaurus and a triceratops.  Through the use of stop motion animation, the T-Rex eats some carrion, hops, and fights the triceratops.

Virginia was one of the pioneers of stop motion photography and was a contemporary of Willis O’Brien.  Unfortunately, very little is known about her or her career.  The only other film I have seen of hers was a claymation film of various famous George Washington paintings.  That short is only 2 minutes and 46 seconds long.  

Monsters of the Past 1923

George Washington in Clay

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