An animated feature film released in 1917. Yes, that's 20 years before Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", which usually gets the credit for being the first animated feature. It was released in Argentina by an Italian animator named Quirino Cristiani. The 70-minute cartoon satirized the presidency of Hipolito Irigoyen and depicted the president visiting Heaven, being given thunderbolts by Jupiter, and using the thunderbolts to burn out corruption from Buenos Aires.

"El Apóstol" ("The Apostle") featured animated cut-up figures for the story and consisted of about 58,000 drawings. It was, of course, a black and white, silent film, but it was wildly popular in Argentina. It was never released internationally and was unknown outside of Argentina for many years.

All known copies of the movie were destroyed in a fire in 1926. In fact, all of Cristiani's animated features have been lost.

Source: http://www.filmthreat.com/Features.asp?File=FeaturesOne.inc&Id=439

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