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John Bull's Animated Sketch Book

John Bull's Animated Sketch Book

Bringing cartoons to life to illustrate the innocence of British propaganda as it accuses the Kaiser’s propaganda of being deceitful.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1916 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive

Overview

This is one of the patriotic series of John Bull's Animated Sketch Books, which run from 1915 to 1916, with JA Clozenberg, Dudley Buxton and Anson Dyer variously involved in the animation, design and production, with the Cartoon Film Company, based in Wardour Street, London. Not so much an animation as film of a lightning cartoonist, this is propaganda of the mild mannered variety: in its gentle humour, its restrained caricature and its rather limp message.

It isn’t known how many of these films may have survived - the BFI has several and the IWM has one other - or what number this one is. Anson Dyer started out as a painter of stained glass windows before Dudley Buxton introduced him to animation, and he continued to produce animations up until 1952. After the war they both worked on Phillip’s half-reel film fables, before Anson Dyer joined the Hepworth Company, making adaptations of Shakespeare. He nearly produced Britain's first feature-length animated film The Story of the Flag in 1927, but it was finally issued as six short films. Dudley Buxton worked on the first ever animated commercial with sync-sound, Mr York of York, Yorks, made for Rowntree in 1929.