This film is part of Free

The Porcupine - A Prickly Subject

Close encounters of the furred (and spiny) kind: cute critters put through their paces in this light-hearted nature film.

Interest film 1916 4 mins Silent


Look out Porky! In a series of big-screen behavioural tests, troupes of furry friends are put through their paces - and subjected to some pretty rough treatment. There's Porcupine - poked with a stick just to bristle his quills. Bunny must endure the enthusiastic affections of a ringlet-haired little girl. Poor Badger is inexplicably thrown down a heap of rocks, while Ferret faces off with Snake. Only wily Otter remains unscathed.

These kind provocations might seem shocking now, and would be unthinkable to most of today's wildlife filmmakers. But they weren't uncommon in early film. This particular example was produced by Charles Urban, whose Kineto company specialised in scientific subjects. Urban was instrumental in fostering the career of pioneering wildlife filmmaker Percy Smith, who went on to make the acclaimed Secrets of Nature (1922-1933) series alongside educational filmmaker Mary Field.