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Animation 2018


In 2018 we celebrate animation in all its guises, from puppetry and stop-motion to anime and CGI.

Introduction by co-programmers Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart

Animation 2018

“All of a sudden it hit me – if there was such a thing as composing music, there could be such a thing as composing motion”
Len Lye

Throughout the year we will be showcasing the craft and creativity of animation in all its forms and genres, from cut outs, puppetry and stop-motion to anime and CGI. While British animation will be at the heart of this story, we will also be investigating international perspectives and inviting animators to join us in person to present their work. There will be previews, re-releases and panel discussions all designed to illustrate why this unique art form can achieve what its live-action counterpart can’t, and why, despite popular misconceptions, animation is just as much for adults as it is for children.


Not Just For Adults (August)

“He has bequeathed us a rich legacy of programmes that will continue to be shown for many years to come, all bearing his unique touch”
Michael Bond on Ivor Wood

The UK is envied across the world for its high-quality animated TV shows - Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart present a month of children’s animation.

Much of our focus so far has concentrated on work made by independent pioneers or experimental artists, so this month we look at an area more commonly associated with quality British animation: animation for children, and in particular for TV. As well as having a nostalgia moment as we revisit the great work of stop-motion director Ivor Wood – who produced many beloved shows such as Postman Pat and The Magic Roundabout – we also look at the companies who have taken Wood’s baton to ensure a new generation are well served. Karrot Animation, Blue Zoo and Studio AKA are just three of many UK animation studios thriving in this area.

Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart

Going Underground (September/October)

“Liu Jian’s animation [is] about gangland lowlife in the manner of a Chinese Tarantino”
The Guardian on Have a Nice Day!

It’s time to celebrate British innovation and explore the dark side of new international animation.

There are no limits to the worlds to which animation can transport us – we could be in another galaxy, travelling through time or in the company of talking animals. Have a Nice Day! and Tehran Taboo present contemporary sides of China and Iran that we rarely see, and are films that would never have been made in live action. In them, we explore a dark underbelly rife with corruption, double standards, moral bankruptcy and violence that state-sponsored media would never permit. This triple-bill of recent films with adult themes is completed by the gory zombie film Seoul Station. We also celebrate innovations in British animation with a look at the groundbreaking work coming from Passion Pictures and Nexus Films.

Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart


See our Missing Believed Wiped screenings.

See our Families screenings, a library talk on animation, and a BFI Screen Epiphany with Michael Dudok de Wit.


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