This film is part of Free

Filling the Gap

No time to veg out – there's a war on. Get your vegetables out!

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1942 5 mins


Anthropomorphised vegetables march to fill the gap in home front gardens and stomachs in this propaganda cartoon. It's a canny mix of jaunty, positive messages and informative animated diagrams, with a stark final message to bring it home: "Next winter may be a matter of life and death".

Hungarian John Halas and Watford-born Joy Batchelor formed their animation studio in 1940 to make cinema ads, but by 1942 they had been called up to produce public information films. They quickly proved their worth and worked on a number of propaganda shorts and training films for a variety of government departments. This relationship continued in the post-war period, when the company produced the Charley series (1948-9). Halas & Batchelor will always be best known for their feature length cartoon version of George Orwell's Animal Farm (1954). This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.