From Jealous Dolls to Brutish Bulldogs
A New History of British Animation
Take another look at British animation with this genre-hopping, whistle-stop tour of an animated century of surprises. All newly remastered by the BFI National Archive, this selection of shorts salutes the independence, innovation and irreverence of generations of British animation talent.
Programmed by Jez Stewart | Total running time 90min
Films in this programme
Jealous Doll, Or, The Frustrated Elopement
Though likely intended as a charming comic tale of young love, this film takes on a strangely gothic hue thanks to the uncanny movements of a puppet plaything.
Dir Percy Stow. UK 1909. 6min
Animated Doll and Toy Town Circus
An early experiment in bringing colour to animation sees a bubble-blowing doll, a toy circus and a stubborn donkey revelling in two-tone glory.
Dir Uncredited. UK 1912. 3min
Ever Been Had?
The man on the moon and the last Englishman on Earth appear in a clever mix of propaganda, science fiction and comedy, with a killer punchline.
Dir Dudley Buxton. UK 1917. 10min
Booster Bonzo; Or, Bonzo in Gay Paree
George Studdy’s cartoon pup makes the transition to the cinema screen and sets the tone for many a British tourist with his drunken high jinks in Paris.
Dir Uncredited. UK 1925. 6min
Experimental Animation 1933
Before opening A Colour Box for the GPO in 1935, New Zealander Len Lye experimented with an all-singing, all-dancing stop-motion monkey hungry for peanuts.
Dir Len Lye. UK 1933. 2min
This delightfully choreographed Technicolor follow-up to the modernist cartoon classic Joie de Vivre, made for Alexander Korda’s London Films, is a lesser-known delight.
Dir Anthony Gross, Hector Hoppin. UK 1936. 9min
Sea gods, mermaids and drunken carpenters. A rare venture into stop-motion from Halas & Batchelor, producers of Britain’s first animated feature Animal Farm.
Dir Joy Batchelor, Allan Crick, John Halas. UK 1952. 7min
Parents Take Hart
Some rum parenting advice from the innovative Larkins Studio in this cinema commercial, based on the drawings of the much-loved Ronald Searle.
Dir Uncredited. UK 1953. 3min
Do It Yourself Cartoon Kit
A forerunner of Terry Gilliam’s work for the Pythons, this off-beat exquisite corpse exercise is enlivened by the creative spirit of Bob ‘Roobarb’ Godfrey.
Dir Bob Godfrey, Vera Linnecar, Nancy Hanna, Keith Learner. UK 1959. 6min
All aboard the psychedelic steam engine! After finishing Yellow Submarine, Heinz Edelmann and friends produced this stunning promo for the Cambridge Animation Festival.
Dir Charlie Jenkins. UK 1968. 3min
A film to restore your faith in the world, with a tale of quiet charm and astonishing depth from industry veteran Alison De Vere.
Dir Alison De Vere. UK 1979. 7min
A vicarious night out lived through an animated sketchbook, laid down to a hypnotic post-punk beat performed by the filmmaker himself.
Dir Jonathan Hodgson. UK 1983. 6min
Ever wondered what your wardrobe is up to when your back is turned? A new version of this lively short, originally edited on analogue video.
Dir Osbert Parker. UK 1988. 3min
The Kings of Siam
All the fun of the fair, as a pair of conjoined twins wrestle with their sideshow reality, dreams of fame and each other.
Dir Ged Haney. UK 1992. 11min