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Sally the Sparrow

Explore London Zoo with one of its greediest residents, Sally the sparrow.

Documentary 1945 9 mins


Never mind the polar bears, penguins and giraffes - in this film London Zoo's main attraction is an enterprising sparrow who feeds off the animals' leftovers. Nature and animals were recurring themes in Gaumont-British Instructional's films for children and the anthropomorphic jokes and whimsical commentary, in this case delivered in rhyming couplets, would have strengthened their appeal.

This is one of hundreds of films that were shown at Saturday morning children's cinema clubs across the country in the 1940s. The shows were popular and attracted a regular audience of around half a million 7 to 14 year-olds. As well as cinemas the films were also made available on 16mm for screening in schools, so the filmmakers' remit was to strike a careful balance between education and entertainment - more than competently achieved here.