This film is part of Free

Plastic Platitudes

Specially commended by ‘Amateur Cine World'. Nineteen fifties claymation by Douglas Butcher offering tongue-in-cheek advice for life.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1957 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


J.D. Butcher, known by his middle name Douglas, was an accomplished amateur animator and filmmaker from Essex. He made both live action and animated short films and his film, “Water on the Brain”, was the ‘first time entrant’ winner in the 1955 Competition of the Amateur Cinematographers. In this film, platitudes, those clichéd remarks that we are all guilty of muttering, are here jam-packed into one long clay animated comic monologue.

Butcher’s film was produced at the time of a claymation revival; the 1950s saw a growth in clay animation in children’s television, and in the movies of the legendary Ray Harryhausen. The film is also clearly a product of its time in terms of race and character stereotyping, despite the disclaimer at the film’s beginning.