The Impossible Voyage (1904) – Georges Melies

Also known as Whirling the Worlds, Melies next masterpiece is my port of call as I continue exploring the trailblazing work of the French showman, thanks to DK Books’ The Movie Book.

Running about twenty minutes, the short uses Jules Verne’s Journey Through the Impossible as its basis. A group of explorers and an inventor go on an incredible journey. After showing the explorers his plans, a locomotive is commissioned alongside a submersible and a rather large ice box.

The group travel to a mountain range, amidst some minor kerfuffles and equipment malfunctions. From there, once all is prepared and everyone is ready, they race up the mountainside and the train, passenger cars, equipment and all are launched into space, their destination? The sun.

A quick visit to the surface, explaining the need for the ice box, and the explorers fall back to Earth in the submersible, making an aquatic landing and returnng to shore to gather their triumphant laurels.

This one ends up being a lot of fun, the humour Melies injects partners nice with the film’s whimsy, and his set design continues to fire the imagination and delight in the magic he created.


These films are never meant to be taken as more than flights of fancy. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be realised in enjoyable ways, in fact Melies is a mate of his film’s look. They work much like you imagine a stage show would work, with the added twist of being able to use and create wonderful little cinema tricks.

One can only imagine how audiences reacted at the time, but I like to think they were wowed as Melies showed them what they had only dreamed before. All of sudden the stars, other worlds were accesible to them through film, it must have spurned on many an imaginative day dream.

I’ve raved about it previously, and I have no doubtI will again, because I love how Melies’ films look. They are inspired, filled with creativity, and are filled with joy.Like so many others, I know A Trip to the Moon, but I hadn’t seen a lot of his other films, but now that I’m watching a few of them, I can’t help but ti be swept up into the magical moviemaking Melies was responsible for.

I wonder what I’ll see next as I journey through The Movie Book available from DK Books. Check it out!

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