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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

Would you know Mickey was a mouse if you didn’t know his surname? Many of the most famous animated characters are drawn from the animal kingdom, but they rarely behave quite as nature intended. Anthropomorphism has a long history in storytelling - going back to Aesop and beyond - and animation has imported it into film. But whether it's Bonzo the Dog or Charley the Cat, these characters are really studies in human nature. 

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Bonzo No. 5
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Bonzo No. 5

Animation & Artists Moving Image19259 mins

Dreams of a Rarebit Hound, as the loveable cartoon pup Bonzo discovers that a late night sausage feast can lead to some disturbing dreams

The Feline Fun
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The Feline Fun

Animation & Artists Moving Image198613 mins

The shenanigans of Cuthbert-Tiggy, the mischievous kitty who enjoys a tipple. An intriguing combo of stop-motion animation and live action.

The Clown and His Donkey
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The Clown and His Donkey

Animation & Artists Moving Image19103 mins

A pioneering effort in bringing shadow puppetry to the cinema

Falling in the Water
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Falling in the Water

Animation & Artists Moving Image19731 mins

Kids don't always listen to their parents. But in the 70s they certainly listened to a giant ginger tabby cat...

Goodwill To All Dogs
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Goodwill To All Dogs

Animation & Artists Moving Image19606 mins

An animated xmas with paper dog Snap

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

The Fabulumperous Car
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The Fabulumperous Car

Animation & Artists Moving Image197212 mins

Top Gear meets Trumpton, as Wilf Weasel pimps Bungle Bunny’s ride

The Six-armed Image
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The Six-armed Image

Animation & Artists Moving Image192114 mins

Comic strip animal favourites of the 1920s continue their epic animated adventure around the world

The Elstree Erbs
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The Elstree Erbs

Animation & Artists Moving Image19308 mins

Teddie, Piggie and Poll might not have gone down in history like Mickey Mouse, but here is a British answer to Disney’s Steamboat Willie

Tale of a Tendril
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Tale of a Tendril

Animation & Artists Moving Image19259 mins

A bug’s life laid bare in this charming cut-out animated tale by pioneering film naturalist F. Percy Smith

Bonzo
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Bonzo

Animation & Artists Moving Image192410 mins

Long before Gromit met Wallace, a silent British dog became a cartoon star

Watch the Birdie
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Watch the Birdie

Amateur film19546 mins

What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Ungle-Wungle bird? Take a look at this lesser spotted animated gem

Anthropoid Anecdote
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Anthropoid Anecdote

Animation & Artists Moving Image19669 mins Location: Leeds

An animated battle of the sexes as seen from the husband’s viewpoint, before the impact of modern feminism put a dent into male chauvinism.

The Cat that Walked by Himself
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The Cat that Walked by Himself

Children's198315 mins Location: South Shields

Appealing 1980s animation of Rudyard Kipling’s children’s fable in which a cave woman’s magic fails to tame a cat with attitude.

Bonzolino or - Bonzo Broadcasted
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Bonzolino or - Bonzo Broadcasted

Animation & Artists Moving Image19257 mins

Bonzo the dog hitches a ride on radio waves all the way to Hollywood to win back his girl in this silent cartoon comedy

Willie Comes to Life
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Willie Comes to Life

Animation & Artists Moving Image19483 mins

See how Willie the white elephant is brought to life in an animation studio for a National Savings ad

Train Trouble
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Train Trouble

Advert19463 mins

Who knew so much was riding on a squirrel's breakfast?

Running a Cinema
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Running a Cinema

Animation & Artists Moving Image19217 mins

This animated insight into silent cinema-going is more fanciful than factual, and relishes in poking fun at the films of its time

A Cat Is a Cat
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A Cat Is a Cat

Animation & Artists Moving Image19719 mins

…and that is that. A playful animated meditation on our feline friends with some beautiful artwork.

Teapot
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Teapot

Animation & Artists Moving Image19731 mins

Charley's cat-astrophic teatime hijinks leave him with a burning message to share

Topical Bonzette
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Topical Bonzette

Animation & Artists Moving Image19257 mins

It’s the canine o’clock news as George Studdy’s loveable cartoon pup Bonzo takes on the newsreels

The Crab That Played with the Sea
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The Crab That Played with the Sea

Children's198311 mins Location: South Shields

Poetic justice for a disobedient Crab in Sheila Graber’s delightful animation of Kipling’s fanciful origin story for children.

Steve's Cannon Crackers
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Steve's Cannon Crackers

Animation & Artists Moving Image19379 mins

Come on Steve! The 1930s comic strip carthorse both starts and stops a naval battle in this cartoon animated by Carl Giles

Bee Boy
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Bee Boy

Animation & Artists Moving Image20056 mins

Bee Boy is destined to spend eternity trapped inside a hive on top of a hill.