The dawn of a new celluloid art: Britain's animation pioneers at peace and war
When you're creating a new art form, everything is experimental. The pioneers of animation in Britain cast a range of subjects as the stars of their films - the toys of an Edwardian child; insects and animals; Kaiser Bill and John Bull. But even the richest of fantasies on display here offer a window into the turbulent era in which they were made. When the nation went to war, animation was conscripted to meet its propaganda needs. In peacetime, the industry sought success as an entertainer, but found a career in sales.
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The “Bill Bailey” punchline might have lost its meaning over the years, but this comic gag short features some of Britain’s earliest animation
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An animated recreation of the sinking of the Lusitania is the centrepiece of this pioneering mix of comedy, satire and outrage in cartoon propaganda.
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To bob, or not to bob? That is the question for Ophelia in this early animated Hamlet, starring a far from gloomy Dane
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Don’t judge a book by its cover but do judge a political party by its garage in this Conservative cartoon from the height of the depression.
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Empire buying begins at home: John Bull gets a makeover in this cartoon promoting British farmed goods
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Short animation of a comic duel between English batsman Patsy Hendren and Australian bowler Arthur Mailey at the Kennington Oval.
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A bug’s life laid bare in this charming cut-out animated tale by pioneering film naturalist F. Percy Smith
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Lightning sketch propaganda stirs outrage about Reims bombing, and features a British bulldog eating the German sausage
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An animated Moor of Venice brings comedy to Shakespeare’s tragedy, in this cut-out cartoon with some neat tricks up its sleeve
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Mixing lightning sketches with animation, this propaganda cartoon comes to life in defence of the British fighting force of 1914.
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I’ll have what he’s smoking! - US import Jesse “Vet” Anderson breathes life (and smoke) into the UK animation industry
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Charming animated illustration of one of nature's wonders from Britain's most inventive pioneer of wildlife filmmaking.
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Anson Dyer imagines the characters behind newspaper adverts and brings them to life in this Kine Komedy Kartoon
Animation & Artists Moving Image19154 mins Location: Scarborough
This WWI cartoon rouses the British lion, bringing to life the December 1914 German Naval raid on Scarborough with visual flourishes.
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The hand of the artist tweaks the nose of “Kaiser Bill” and friends in this episode from an early animated propaganda series
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A star-spangled sock on the nose for Kaiser Wilhelm, as this wordplay propaganda cartoon meets war crimes with pun-ishment
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Pioneering visual graphics – with added cotton wool – recreate an incendiary WWI incident involving a stricken British submarine.
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Blackly comic cartoon portrait of an apocalyptic England, destroyed 50 years after signing a premature peace in WWI.
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More chalk-talker than pencil-pusher, this popular artist recreates his cartoons for the screen with flashes of added animation.
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Animated WWI-era comic highlights from the innovative cartoonist George Studdy, creator of Bonzo the dog.
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An edible bomb is cooked by the Kaiser in this fun WWI cartoon, which mixes propaganda with fantasy as a boy's dreams turn into nightmares.
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Party-political hyperbole meets Wacky Races in this spirited cartoon produced for the Conservative Party.
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Mr Nosey Parker visits farmer John Barleycorn to tell him how to do his job in this witty Conservative Party campaigning cartoon.
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Witness the birth of motion graphics in news reporting amid the ongoing Gallipoli campaign during WWI.
Animation & Artists Moving Image19162 minsSilent Location: London
Bringing cartoons to life to illustrate the innocence of British propaganda as it accuses the Kaiser’s propaganda of being deceitful.