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John Bull's Animated Sketch Book
John Bull's Animated Sketch Book

John Bull's Animated Sketch Book 1916


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John Bull's Animated Sketch Book 1916

7 mins United Kingdom Director. Anson Dyer

The British lion, bulldog, and old John Bull himself are joined by the hand of artist Anson Dyer in this episode from an early cartoon propaganda series. The mixture of lightning sketches and cut-outs may seem primitive, but it showcases the draughtsmanship of the artist and allows him some delightful interaction with his own drawings. Dyer even draws a caricature of himself, palette in hand, to make a joke about the blackout – a somewhat forgotten feature of the WWI home front.

The subjects of other gags in this short include “The Blues” of the British Navy - Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and Admiral Sir David Beatty. The “Knuts” at John Bull’s coconut shy represent the Central powers: Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Kaiser Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire, and Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria. The fifth head is almost certainly Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, who features as the bungling Kaiser’s son in a number of similar cartoons of this period.

Directed by

Anson Dyer


Animation & Artists Moving Image


Matches Propaganda World War I


1916 on Film




United Kingdom



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