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Animated Britain

An animated portrait of a nation, brought to life frame by painstaking frame

 

Since the early 1900s a disparate array of artists in Britain have drawn, sculpted, snipped, stamped, posed, clicked and scratched their art into celluloid life. This collection surveys a stunningly rich history, from the age of the pioneers to the best commercial and independent animators, taking in home hobbyists bitten by the animation bug. 

Through its own weird alchemy, animation can bring our wildest imaginings to life, and yet it can also be a powerful tool for exploring our everyday reality. Silly, surreal, sweet or caustic, this dizzyingly diverse selection showcases British animation's unique contribution to the art form, and offers a history ripe for rediscovery.

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Max Beeza and the City in the Sky
Max Beeza and the City in the Sky
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Max Beeza and the City in the Sky

Animation & Artists Moving Image197724 mins

As sublime as it is silly, this ambitious animated short mixes a vision of a dystopian, tower block Britain with anarchic vaudeville humour

Vote for Froglet
Vote for Froglet
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Vote for Froglet

Children's19747 mins

As the general election is held in the UK, it's polling day for the Clangers on a small blue planet far away.

Superted
Superted
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Superted

Children's19759 mins

Don’t tell the Spotty man but Superted has a new friend. A stop motion predecessor of the superhero teddy idea

Next
Next
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Next

Animation & Artists Moving Image19895 mins

Two virtuoso performances in one – Shakespeare's complete works presented in puppet form by a master of animation

Animated Britain (trailer)
Animated Britain (trailer)
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Animated Britain (trailer)

Promotional20181 mins

Discover an animated portrait of Britain, brought to life frame by painstaking frame, with our free-to-view BFI Player archive collection - available as part of Animation 2018, a year-long celebration of animation

The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom
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The United Kingdom

Animation & Artists Moving Image19945 mins

What does it mean to be British? You might not have a much clearer idea after watching this animated portrait, but you will certainly be entertained

Bunty the Bouncing Bassoon
Bunty the Bouncing Bassoon
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Bunty the Bouncing Bassoon

Animation & Artists Moving Image19636 mins

Warning! If you step into the Merry Music Shop then this singalong cartoon is an animated earworm in waiting!

The Aeronauts
The Aeronauts
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The Aeronauts

Animation & Artists Moving Image198412 mins

A reet gradely yarn in cartoon form, as a boy and his grandad fly from Wigan to “Th’ USA” in the 1930s

David Low Animation
David Low Animation
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David Low Animation

Animation & Artists Moving Image19360 mins

Gad Sir, it’s an animated Colonel Blimp! David Low’s drawings were brought to life in this test for a sadly unrealised political cartoon project

The Family Holiday
The Family Holiday
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The Family Holiday

Animation & Artists Moving Image19758 mins

Got your holidays booked yet? Take a look at what Terminal Tours have to offer in this consciously coarse comic cartoon

Two off the Cuff
Two off the Cuff
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Two off the Cuff

Animation & Artists Moving Image19689 mins

Animated special offer! 2-for-1 cartoon from Bob Godfrey, with the voice of Ronnie Barker

Lautrec
Lautrec
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Lautrec

Animation & Artists Moving Image19746 mins

If anyone can bring Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s sketchbooks to life, Geoff Dunbar can-can

That Yorkshire Sound
That Yorkshire Sound
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That Yorkshire Sound

Short documentary20173 mins

An audio-driven animated documentary covering a day of life in Yorkshire.

The Mail Goes Through
The Mail Goes Through
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The Mail Goes Through

Animation & Artists Moving Image194710 mins

Witness the no-so-great train robbery in this post-war cartoon, produced "in glorious monochrome"

Little Tom Thumb
Little Tom Thumb
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Little Tom Thumb

Animation & Artists Moving Image19677 mins

Worst. Parents. Ever. But a lovely animated tale using cut-out animation designed by Sunniva Kellquist

I Wanna Mink
I Wanna Mink
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I Wanna Mink

Animation & Artists Moving Image19599 mins

A cartoon cautionary tale of a marriage turning sour, featuring real-life husband and wife Sam Wanamaker and Charlotte Holland

Honestly It's the Story of My Life
Honestly It's the Story of My Life
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Honestly It's the Story of My Life

Animation & Artists Moving Image19905 mins

A down-to-earth portrait of art school life from Sarah Ann Kennedy, creator of Crapston Villas and voice of Miss Rabbit and Nanny Plum

Animation Has Changed
Animation Has Changed
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Animation Has Changed

Advert19717 mins

Out with the old and in with the new – one of Britain’s leading animation companies pitches its new image with great humour

Polygamous Polonius Revisited
Polygamous Polonius Revisited
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Polygamous Polonius Revisited

Animation & Artists Moving Image19858 mins

A cartoon character assassination of the Iron Lady with a healthy dollop of lunacy from Bob “Roobarb” Godfrey

Polygamous Polonius
Polygamous Polonius
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Polygamous Polonius

Animation & Artists Moving Image19609 mins

An off-beat animated love story of sorts as Polonius meets his match in Agnes the art lecturer

A Short Tall Story
A Short Tall Story
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A Short Tall Story

Fantasy19704 mins

This animated allegory with a message of mediation was so successful it was adopted by the United Nations

The Professor
The Professor
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The Professor

Animation & Artists Moving Image19677 mins

A nutty professor meets a very hungry caterpillar in this animated chase cartoon brimming with swinging 60s backdrops.

Ersatz
Ersatz
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Ersatz

Animation & Artists Moving Image197814 minsSilent

An affectionate stop-motion tribute to Hollywood and cinema going, by an animator at Cosgrove-Hall Productions

Dream Doll
Dream Doll
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Dream Doll

Animation & Artists Moving Image197912 minsSilent

A relationship liable to blow up at any moment is at the heart of this animated short about a man and an inflatable sex doll

Mildred
Mildred
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Mildred

Sponsored film196010 mins

A future Beatles director and former Goon script a beautifully designed comic cartoon for BP

Johann Sebastian Bach In Euro Deutschland
Johann Sebastian Bach In Euro Deutschland
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Johann Sebastian Bach In Euro Deutschland

Animation & Artists Moving Image19955 mins

Do you know your Europeans? This animated overview of Germany with Bach was part of a series on the new European Union

Custard
Custard
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Custard

Animation & Artists Moving Image197422 mins

Trust me – you will never look at custard the same way again

Henry 9 'til 5
Henry 9 'til 5
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Henry 9 'til 5

Animation & Artists Moving Image19706 mins

This cartoon might be NSFW, but it shows that your imagination doesn’t have to be

Pear-shaped Hill
Pear-shaped Hill
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Pear-shaped Hill

Animation & Artists Moving Image19707 mins

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let this classic bedtime story begin, with added animation to bring the illustrations to life

To Our Children's Children's Children
To Our Children's Children's Children
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To Our Children's Children's Children

Animation & Artists Moving Image19697 mins

This is one small step for The Moody Blues… It may not have led to any giant leaps, but it’s a fun cartoon take on British space exploration

The Mathematician
The Mathematician
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The Mathematician

Animation & Artists Moving Image19763 mins

2 + 2 = BOOM! The apocalyptic danger of maths is explored in this computer animated cartoon from the mind of Stan Hayward

Tropical Breezes
Tropical Breezes
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Tropical Breezes

Animation & Artists Moving Image193011 mins

A British Steamboat Willie? This early British sound cartoon might not have been the first, but it’s a cracker

Dear Margery Boobs
Dear Margery Boobs
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Dear Margery Boobs

Animation & Artists Moving Image19775 mins

Agony Aunt finds her romantic match in a man with increasingly complicated sex fantasies.

Dreamlands
Dreamlands
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Dreamlands

Animation & Artists Moving Image20124 mins

Gothic-tinged animation, presenting the final day of a fox, who is being sentenced to death for murdering his rabbit lover.

Music Man
Music Man
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Music Man

Animation & Artists Moving Image19386 mins

Music lesson daydreams turn nightmares in this European influenced Technicolor cartoon

The Dirt Inside
The Dirt Inside
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The Dirt Inside

Animation & Artists Moving Image19986 mins

A slab of clay is wrought, eviscerated and shattered to render an account of date rape with staggering effectiveness

Boogie Rag Roll - Thunderclap Jones
Boogie Rag Roll - Thunderclap Jones
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Boogie Rag Roll - Thunderclap Jones

Animation & Artists Moving Image19556 mins

Frantic Welsh boogie-woogie maestro Thunderclap Jones pounds the piano in this fast and furious pop promo

The Christmas Visitor
The Christmas Visitor
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The Christmas Visitor

Animation & Artists Moving Image19587 mins

The Night Before Christmas meets Toy Story in this charming British cartoon from 1958.

Topology
Topology
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Topology

Animation & Artists Moving Image19699 mins

A maths lesson is an excuse for an animator’s tour de force

Dodo in Christmas Adventure
Dodo in Christmas Adventure
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Dodo in Christmas Adventure

Animation & Artists Moving Image19655 mins

Meet the animated sci-fi fixer from a strange atomic race who knows the value of Christmas.

Selwyn's Lucky Day
Selwyn's Lucky Day
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Selwyn's Lucky Day

Animation & Artists Moving Image20008 mins

A story of valleys life and and the lottery, this is truly a winning animation. Watch it and love it!

A Film about Poo
A Film about Poo
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A Film about Poo

Animation & Artists Moving Image20092 mins

This is a film about poo, and the things that you should and shouldn't do.

Children of Wax
Children of Wax
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Children of Wax

Animation & Artists Moving Image19887 mins

Delightful African folk tale collected by Alexander McCall Smith and animated by industry veteran Kathleen “Spud” Houston

Players
Players
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Players

Animation & Artists Moving Image19827 mins

Tennis match escalates into apocalypse

Midsummer Nightmare
Midsummer Nightmare
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Midsummer Nightmare

Comedy19579 mins

For Puck’s sake watch this. Shakespeare’s “shrewd and knavish sprite” emerges in the C20th and takes on the modern obsession of television

Plain Man's Guide to Advertising
Plain Man's Guide to Advertising
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Plain Man's Guide to Advertising

Animation & Artists Moving Image196220 mins

Does your home suffer from BO? This gag filled pastiche of the ad industry is happy to nibble the hand that feeds it

Internet Story
Internet Story
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Internet Story

Animation & Artists Moving Image20100 mins

A fast-paced and experimental film told through fragments of internet videos, animations, blogs and news articles.

A Date with an Enfield
A Date with an Enfield
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A Date with an Enfield

Animation & Artists Moving Image20162 mins Location: Enfield

Personal film about love and memory, animated over hundreds of frames of Google Streetview.

Early Animation
Early Animation
Free collection

Early Animation

The dawn of a new celluloid art: Britain's animation pioneers at peace and war

DIY Animation
DIY Animation
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DIY Animation

Amateur animation auteurs bring their homegrown creations to life

Animation Goes to Work
Animation Goes to Work
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Animation Goes to Work

For those with an official message to get across, animation is the perfect messenger 

Animated Ads
Animated Ads
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Animated Ads

British animation won great success as an entertainer, but it has long had a lucrative second career in sales

Creatures Great and Small
Creatures Great and Small
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Creatures Great and Small

Fur, feathers, bugs or beaks: from the start animators have cast the whole natural world in their human comedies and dramas

The Animator’s Art
The Animator’s Art
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The Animator’s Art

Free from commercial restraints, animators explore their art

Animate Projects
Animate Projects
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Animate Projects

Animate Projects is a strategic agency that works at the intersection of animation, film and art - animateprojects.org

Chicken Run from Animated Britain

More Animated Britain films in our Rentals collection.