December 19, 1904 [Le Voyage à travers l'impossible/The Impossible Voyage]
And it's all toys and gadgets! His "narrative arc" is simple propulsion, as his travelers leap off mountains and fly through a firmament inhabited by Méliès' anthropomorphic astronomy, all leers and grins, until they land on the sun itself, in fire and flames—and saved by the ice-box box-car, and down to the bottom of the ocean, the cutaway submarine revealing all travelers cozy still—until fortunate disaster bursts and flings all home again, jiggedy-jig. Never quite safe, but always saved, those of us who live in Méliès' world recall "the pleasant land of counterpane"—including its dark and undulating shapes beneath, movements sudden and obscure (was that a visiting imp or merely my toe?) that the child sees without hesitation, but (blessedly, frustratingly) in dimming recollection. Méliès loves to end in outbursts and celebrations, and the child in me thanks him for not lingering on the fall through darkness but on the fireworks landing, square on their feet.