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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.


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 Studios.

Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart

Richard Williams Framed Roger Rabbit (November)

“I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way”
Jessica Rabbit

There’s so much for you to get animated about over the next couple of months. Coming up, we unveil the long anticipated BBC-Netflix co-production focusing on the rabbits of Watership Down. We also showcase some new work created on the back of a special BFI and BBC partnership, and a new documentary commissioned by BBC4 to tie in with our year of animation. And one of the most important animation voices of all time, Richard Williams, turned 85 this year so we celebrate with him returning to the BFI to talk about Who Framed Roger Rabbit and his unfinished masterpiece The Thief and the Cobbler. We also champion the work of the great Bob Godfrey.

Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart


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


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