The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
A magical dream sequence of dancing fairies that seems to draw upon very early moving images of staged dances of fairy tales, beautifully performed by enchanting children.
From the collection of:
This is indeed an enchanting film from the 1930s of the children of Arncliffe in Yorkshire performing a dance sequence in a garden, in a story that is inspired by diverse fairy tales. As three children fall asleep in a garden, a pied piper ushers in a stream of fairies dancing in circles around them, before a wicked witch breaks them up and the children awaken from their dream.
It isn’t known who took this film, where it is or exactly what year it is. It is one of several films made of Arncliffe from the 1930s that were donated (initially to Upper Wharfedale Museum) by Revd. G Curry (not to be confused with the present day evangelist Revd. George Curry). The film looks to have been taken either in the grounds of a school or of a large country house. G. Curry was the vicar of St Oswald Church, Arncliffe – where the Right Reverend John Robinson, author of the influential book Honest to God, is buried. The film may perhaps have taken inspiration from the dancing fairies in the 1935 film version of Midsummer’s Night Dream, with James Cagney as Bottom and Mickey Rooney as Puck.