This film is part of Free

Not Cricket

A cartoon Caribbean mini-musical scripted by a Nobel Prize winner and accompanied by a Trinidadian guitar legend

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1958 4 mins


When it comes to pedigree, few adverts can claim such illustrious origins. This cartoon Caribbean mini-musical was scripted by V.S Naipaul, who was just starting a writing career that would garner him a Nobel Prize in Literature. Music comes from Fitzroy Coleman, a Trinidadian guitar legend, and the animation was from the ground-breaking Larkins Studio who were pushing at the boundaries of cartoon style.

Having collaborated with Larkins on the successful Put Una Money For There (also available on the BFI Player) for African audiences, Barclays were keen to explore a similar approach in the West Indies. The director of the commercial, Richard Taylor, recruited Coleman and fellow Trinidadian Naipaul to give some local authenticity to this tale of robbery and redemption. The characters were designed without faces on Barclays’ advice to avoid representing people whose skin colour and racial origin varied throughout the West Indies. As an advert the film was considered a failure as West Indies audiences found it patronising and parochial to Trinidad. Ignore the spurious sales message and it remains a delight to watch today.