DIY Animation

Amateur animation auteurs bring their homegrown creations to life

The requirements for making an animated film are pretty low. With a camera that shoots in single frames and an idea in your back pocket, you're well on your way. This collection showcases an assortment of dining table Disneys, who combine homebrewed talent with the all-important dedication and patience required to bring a story to life one frame at a time. Not that this was necessarily a solitary pursuit. From the 1950s onwards networks of amateur animators like The Grasshopper Group collaborated on filmmaking and distribution, and animated shorts were often a highlight of the amateur filmmaking scene. 

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Face to FaceFace to Face

Animation & Artists Moving Image19813 mins Location: South Shields

Marking time on a face, a swift, bleak portrait of a man from cradle to grave.

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For Your PleasureFor Your Pleasure

Animation & Artists Moving Image19704 mins Location: Flatford Mill

An iconic rural scene becomes a protest site for the bitter yet comic vision of prolific amateur animator Derek Phillips

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Little CindersLittle Cinders

Animation & Artists Moving Image195221 mins Location: Leeds

A magical film in many ways, a fairy tale story using trick photography and with artful and imaginative stop motion animation.

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The Battle of WangaporeThe Battle of Wangapore

Amateur film19559 minsSilent

Charge into this slick amateur cartoon from the Grasshopper Group which was three years in the making

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Pipe DreamsPipe Dreams

Animation & Artists Moving Image19653 mins Location: Wakefield

A once common object in many households becomes transformed into a quirky dancing troupe in this simple homespun animation.

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Plastic PlatitudesPlastic Platitudes

Animation & Artists Moving Image19574 mins

Specially commended by ‘Amateur Cine World'. Nineteen fifties claymation by Douglas Butcher offering tongue-in-cheek advice for life.

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Mr Eppynt a Clara'r Fuwch: Y BunyipMr Eppynt a Clara'r Fuwch: Y Bunyip

Animation & Artists Moving Image19786 mins

A fair exchange is no robbery, perhaps. The Bunyip – an unknown quantity – takes the animated Mr Eppynt and Clara the Cow by surprise.

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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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Mr Putty Takes the StageMr Putty Takes the Stage

Animation & Artists Moving Image195818 mins

Part animation - part live action - part instructional film from Douglas Butcher on 'The moulding of a character in Plasticene'. Made in 1958.

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Toys Will Be ToysToys Will Be Toys

Animation & Artists Moving Image19885 mins Location: South Shields

Barbie dolls in pink battle khaki killing machines in a Christmas animation that cocks a snook at the “Disney Doctrine”.

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Mr Eppynt a Clara'r Fuwch: Yr EnfysMr Eppynt a Clara'r Fuwch: Yr Enfys

Animation & Artists Moving Image19786 mins

Every cloud has a silver lining but Rainbow Valley’s is not just silver but technicolored, thanks to artistic Mr Eppynt and his dear cow Clara.

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Pigeon CreePigeon Cree

Animation & Artists Moving Image198610 mins Location: North Tyneside

An exuberant animated short celebrates writer Sid Chaplins short story about the defiant spirit of an old miner who finds his beloved pigeon loft is under threat.

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George on a Cycling Tour through SussexGeorge on a Cycling Tour through Sussex

Amateur film196114 minsSilent

A surrealistic animation featuring cut-out characters on a beserk bicycle ride through Sussex towards a final destination in the Brighton Dome.

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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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Kitchen KaperKitchen Kaper

Animation & Artists Moving Image19635 mins Location: Wakefield

The clinking of the milkman doing his daily rounds turns into a moving tale of romance between the contrasting beverages of day and night.

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Bio and BonesBio and Bones

Animation & Artists Moving Image198510 mins Location: South Shields

The bare bones of how human bodies work introduced by a blobby one-celled character called Bio.

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Dinosaurs and ThingsDinosaurs and Things

Animation & Artists Moving Image198113 minsSilent

Those “things” being spiders, serpents, pre-historic monsters and God. Stop-motion clay animation inspired by the work of Ray Harryhausen.

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The Ballad of Charlie ClydeThe Ballad of Charlie Clyde

Animation & Artists Moving Image19813 mins Location: Sunderland

‘Being a lad is not so bad!’ A father chides his wilful son - in rhyme.

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Club SpiritClub Spirit

Comedy19649 mins Location: Halifax

The dangers of drinking take on a surreal turn as one of the pink elephants seen by our inebriated hero materializes and thwarts all attempts to get rid of her, even a safari hunter.

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The Boy and the SongThe Boy and the Song

Animation & Artists Moving Image19764 mins Location: South Shields

Travel on a pitch purrfect mid-winter odyssey inspired by song with a cartoon boy and his devoted cat.

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Fly's Eye ViewFly's Eye View

Animation & Artists Moving Image19649 minsSilent Location: Manchester

The world on a grand scale, as seen through the eyes of a housefly.

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Amateur film19812 mins

The puzzle that kick-started the 1980s comes to life in this amateur animation.

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A Note from AboveA Note from Above

Animation & Artists Moving Image19672 mins

Thou shalt watch this film

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First AnimationFirst Animation

Animation & Artists Moving Image19804 minsSilent Location: Chorlton-cum-Hardy

The world in stop motion: experiments with time and perception.

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Problems EndProblems End

Animation & Artists Moving Image19643 mins

Petty party politics gets animated - literally - in this amateur cartoon with a message.

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Larn Yersel' GeordieLarn Yersel' Geordie

Animation & Artists Moving Image198011 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Learn how to speak Geordie with a riotous animation of Scott Dobsons popular vernacular lessons.

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Is This Your Life?Is This Your Life?

Amateur film19579 minsSilent

An unusual and visually sophisticated commentary on the routine drabness and drudgery of everyday suburban existence.

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Little Red Riding HoodLittle Red Riding Hood

Animation & Artists Moving Image19808 mins Location: Wolverhampton

A big, bad, but very stylish, wolf meets his match in this model animation of a traditional fairy tale.

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ABZ on Sport?ABZ on Sport?

Animation & Artists Moving Image19674 mins

A stalwart of Cardiff Amateur Cine Society tries his hand at the sort of cut-out craziness Terry Gilliam created for Monty Python.

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On The Fifth DayOn The Fifth Day

Animation & Artists Moving Image19792 minsSilent Location: Wolverhampton

A flight of fancy, and a story of creation seen with an animator's eye.

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Animal AlphabetAnimal Alphabet

Animation & Artists Moving Image19674 mins

Awesome, Beguiling and Creative: a simple but stunningly imaginative English alphabet drawn by a stalwart member of Cardiff’s cine club.

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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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Amateur film19687 mins

After a short but flammable existence, Victor, a matchbox from Sweden, reflects on life's vicissitudes as he awaits his fate in the gutter.

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Christmas Around the WorldChristmas Around the World

Animation & Artists Moving Image19785 mins Location: South Shields

Chomping alligators, a boomerang throwing kangaroo, a turkey in Turkey, and an angry lion, all mollified by a world touring, bumbling Santa.

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Howway the LassesHowway the Lasses

Documentary19771 mins Location: Northumberland

This jaunty hand-drawn animation charts the history of womens revolutionary road to freedom in the North East - from Stone Age sister to suffragette of the twentieth century.

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Animation & Artists Moving Image19786 mins

Behind closed drawers what other worlds lie? A bureau with tenants from the pleistocene (or plasticine) era offers ‘documentary’ potential.

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A Change in the WeatherA Change in the Weather

Animation & Artists Moving Image19694 mins

Weathermen fighting! Ian Malcolm of Cardiff’s cine club, drew these characters on copy typing paper to illustrate a story by G Buckley.

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Animation CocktailAnimation Cocktail

Animation & Artists Moving Image197721 minsSilent

A frog projectionist, a drunken hound, and shadow muscle men make up this Animation Cocktail of stop-motion sequences by filmmaker Jon Coley.

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Child's Guide to Catching an Elephant KitChild's Guide to Catching an Elephant Kit

Animation & Artists Moving Image19722 mins

Catching an elephant? It’s simple, all just a question of perception. This “mad ad” was created by a stalwart of Cardiff Amateur Cine Society.

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Amateur film197724 mins

Extra-terrestrial plantlife is discovered in the Welsh countryside causing mischief for scientist Dr Felix Ackerman, filmed in 1977.

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Legend of the Red DragonLegend of the Red Dragon

Animation & Artists Moving Image19713 mins

A captivating, upside-down version of George and the Dragon and the history of Wales. Steely George is no match for a fiery Welsh ‘mam’.

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Keep Wales Tidy / Cedwch Gymru'n DaclusKeep Wales Tidy / Cedwch Gymru'n Daclus

Animation & Artists Moving Image19701 mins

It’s no joke – litter - even if an American, a Scotsman and an Englishman are involved!

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My River TyneMy River Tyne

Documentary19867 mins Location: South Shields

An unusual mix of pastel, photos, film and line drawings conjures a story of the River Tyne, from its source at the Scottish border to its mouth at South Shields.

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Be a Good NeighbourBe a Good Neighbour

Animation & Artists Moving Image19776 mins Location: South Shields

An animation stuffed full of canine cracks promotes the Home Office Good Neighbour scheme in the 1970s.

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Echo: Some ReflectionsEcho: Some Reflections

Animation & Artists Moving Image19725 mins

It’s all done with mirrors! Glynn Williams explores the properties of reflection in this amusing animation featuring a toy train set.

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The Fifth MinuteThe Fifth Minute

Amateur film19769 mins

Nightmarish visions become a reality in this imaginative production that mixes live action, animation, and special effects.

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Generation GapGeneration Gap

Animation & Artists Moving Image197311 mins

Are the times a-changin', or are we getting old? This amateur cartoon delves into the dreams of the Cashworthy family.

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Hand in GloveHand in Glove

Amateur film197612 mins

To carry on his important work the ego-maniacal scientist Dr Kelly must obtain another hand … a hand which begins to take on a life of its own.

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Welcome to the Losers ClubWelcome to the Losers Club

Animation & Artists Moving Image19747 mins

Looking for escape from the relentless drudgery of life? Don’t worry, there is a way out of the Loser’s Club

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Lady of ShallotLady of Shallot

Animation & Artists Moving Image19765 mins Location: South Shields

A cursed heroine chooses between two worlds in an enchanting animation of Alfred Tennyson’s enduring poem about unrequited love.

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Boy and the CatBoy and the Cat

Animation & Artists Moving Image197610 mins Location: South Shields

A boy and his cat make mischief in the snow at South Shields in this captivating hand-drawn childrens animation created by Sheila Graber.

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The Twelve Days of ChristmasThe Twelve Days of Christmas

Animation & Artists Moving Image19764 mins Location: South Shields

A classic Christmas carol brought joyously to life in this engaging and colourful Sheila Graber animation, with help from her school class.

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Old ChinaOld China

Animation & Artists Moving Image19399 minsSilent Location: Hyde

Look closely into the Willow pattern for a timeless tale of tragic love.

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Short Tribute From Blues To YouShort Tribute From Blues To You

Animation & Artists Moving Image19892 minsSilent Location: Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Model music men - an unusual appreciation of some legendary figures of rock.

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The BattleThe Battle

Animation & Artists Moving Image19705 mins

Once more unto the breach… a cartoon tour inside the body of an aging man reveals a battleground in which there can be only one winner

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Amateur film19948 mins Location: Harlesden

A female protagonist falls prey to the ‘Shadowman’, who stalks his victim before attack. Uses stop-motion animation as well as live action.