Les papillons japonais, is an early silent era film released in France circa 1908 by Segundo de Chomón who was a pioneering Spanish film director. He produced many short films in France while working for Pathé Frères and has been compared to Georges Méliès, due to his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions. He is regarded as one of the most significant Spanish silent film directosr in an international context.
This film is essentially a genre picture — the sort of stage/film magic hybrid that Georges Melies had pioneered. It is partially hand colored and shows several Japanese characters and eventually a worm change into a butterfly. While flapping it’s wings the butterfly changes colors as it flies, before changing into a girl performing the serpentine dance popular in France and elsewhere at the time.