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. 5Bonzo No. 5

Animation & Artists Moving Image19259 minsSilent

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

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The Feline FunThe Feline Fun

Animation & Artists Moving Image198613 minsSilent

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

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The Clown and His DonkeyThe Clown and His Donkey

Animation & Artists Moving Image19103 minsSilent

A pioneering effort in bringing shadow puppetry to the cinema

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Falling in the WaterFalling 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...

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Goodwill To All DogsGoodwill To All Dogs

Animation & Artists Moving Image19606 mins

An animated xmas with paper dog Snap

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Children's19759 mins

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

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The Fabulumperous CarThe Fabulumperous Car

Animation & Artists Moving Image197212 mins

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

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The Six-armed ImageThe Six-armed Image

Animation & Artists Moving Image192114 minsSilent

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

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The Elstree ErbsThe 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

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Tale of a TendrilTale of a Tendril

Animation & Artists Moving Image19259 minsSilent

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

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Animation & Artists Moving Image192410 minsSilent

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

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Watch the BirdieWatch the Birdie

Amateur film19546 minsSilent

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

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Anthropoid AnecdoteAnthropoid 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.

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The Cat that Walked by HimselfThe 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.

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Bonzolino or - Bonzo BroadcastedBonzolino or - Bonzo Broadcasted

Animation & Artists Moving Image19257 minsSilent

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

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Willie Comes to LifeWillie 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

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Train TroubleTrain Trouble

Advert19463 mins

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

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Running a CinemaRunning a Cinema

Animation & Artists Moving Image19217 minsSilent

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

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A Cat Is a CatA 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.

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Animation & Artists Moving Image19731 mins

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

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Topical BonzetteTopical Bonzette

Animation & Artists Moving Image19257 minsSilent

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

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The Crab That Played with the SeaThe 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.

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Steve's Cannon CrackersSteve'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

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Bee BoyBee Boy

Animation & Artists Moving Image20056 mins

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

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Animation & Artists Moving Image20125 mins

A flock of birds circles around and moves a cage vehicle, seeking escape from a city half finished and abandoned.

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Animation & Artists Moving Image20116 mins

A pyromaniac bear misses his mother.

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The Obvious ChildThe Obvious Child

Animation & Artists Moving Image201413 mins

Somebody broke the girl's parents. The rabbit was there when it happened. It was an awful mess.