This film is part of Free

Fable of the Fabrics

"Gee, old age!" Malicious Father Time doesn't stand a chance against a cartoon cupid armed with a big box of washing powder.

Advert 1942 6 mins


Age comes to us all, even goatherds. A particularly vicious Father Time with a hit-list in his Book of Doom seeks to wipe out characters brought to life from fabric patterns. This neat concept for a cartoon washing powder commercial can be credited to Alexander Mackendrick, who worked at the J Walter Thompson advertising agency before making films at Ealing and then Hollywood.

Halas & Batchelor would grow to be Britain's biggest animation studio in the 1950s and 60s, but their roots were in making cinema commercials at Bush House with JWT. The longer production time for this complex Technicolour animation may have contributed to the fact that by the time it was complete, it was a little redundant. Stick around for the tacked-on ending in which the cupid returns to announce that, like many popular brands, the product would not be available in wartime.