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General French's Contemptible Little Army

General French's Contemptible Little Army

Mixing lightning sketches with animation, this propaganda cartoon comes to life in defence of the British fighting force of 1914.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1914 7 mins Silent

Overview

In the early days of WWI, celebrated illustrator Lancelot Speed rallied to the patriotic cause, combining his super-fast, 'lightning sketch' act with stop-motion animation to bring cartooning to life. Kaiser Wilhelm had allegedly dismissed the British Expeditionary Force, led by Commander-in-Chief Sir John French, as 'contemptible'. True or not, the outrage that followed made useful propaganda.