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I've been watching Danger: Diabolik (1968) and when I read the Wikipedia article I realise it's actually an adaptation of a comic book character called Diabolik which made it one of the earliest comic adaptation I had heard of.

After more research I found this article which claimed the oldest was Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), however there are some I found which are even older, like Flash Gordon (1936).

Can anyone provide an authoritative answer as to what the first feature-length (more than 40 minutes) film adaptation of a comic was?

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I think this will depend on your definition of "comic". It's my understanding that Flash Gordon was initially a newspaper comic strip, adapted to serial films, and not a full-fledged comic book until later. –  JoshDM Jul 29 at 20:03
    
@JoshDM Good point, I hadn't thought of that distinction. I just mean the most liberal definition of "panels of images and text". –  Crow T Robot Jul 29 at 20:06
    
Do you also accept animated cartoons? –  knut Jul 29 at 20:09
    
@knut Yep, as long as it's feature length (more than 40 minutes). –  Crow T Robot Jul 29 at 20:10
    
Tarzan, based on pulp fiction books, first appeared on film in 1918 and was incredibly popular during the silent era, but I don't think it was adapted to comic books until much later. –  Jeff-Inventor ChromeOS Aug 6 at 6:29

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

As far as I can make out, the first feature length film based off a comic strip was Little Annie Rooney (1925) starring Mary Pickford.

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There were certainly other shorts made before then, going back as far as 1898, but you specified over 40 mins in length.

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