This film is part of Free

Adolf's Busy Day

Who does he think he’s kidding? This parodic day-in-the-life portrait of Mr Hitler is one of the very few British examples of comic cartoon propaganda from WW2.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1940 8 mins


A glimpse at Hitler’s diary? No hoax this time, but a parodic propaganda cartoon produced during the 'phoney war', when it was perhaps easier to paint the Führer as just a fool. From shooting his own alarm clock in the morning, to an undignified dunking in the sea at the end of the day, the film is full of humorous pokes at Nazi pomp and circumstance. Just two days after its release on 24th May 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk began making such a light-hearted approach seem out of step with the times.

The film was made by architectural draughtsman Lawrence Wright, under his pseudonym Lance White. He appears to be an entirely self-taught animator, cutting his teeth on a series of 9.5mm amateur cartoons about his other passions, gliding and buildings, including The Life and Career of Archie Teck (c.1935). He made a further cartoon, The Mail Goes Through (1947; also on BFI Player), before leaving animation behind. Future diversions to his continuing career as a draughtsman included writing published histories of both the bed and the toilet – essential bathroom reading.