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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


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.