This film is part of Free


Meet Sammy, his dog Sausage and their creator, early British animator Joe Noble, whose inventive streak sees him chased by his own shadow

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1928 3 mins Silent


Rubbing shoulders with cartoon legends like Felix the Cat and Koko the Clown on British cinema screens in the 1920s were some lesser-known home-grown characters such as Sammy and Sausage. Commissioned and distributed through newsreel cinemagazines, these short comic interludes gave animators like Joe Noble a prominent window for their inventive talents.

Noble’s contemporary Sid Griffiths had improvised a bi-pack camera to help mix live action and animation for special effects, such as the morphing shadow chasing Joe down the street here. Both animators were heavily influenced by the Fleischer Brothers Out of the Inkwell series (1918-29), but Noble in particular was bursting with his own creative ideas. For example, Sammy, Sausage and Joe also appeared in Noble’s mini-parody of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1926) under the title Whatrotolis (1928). Though he began experimenting with his own synchronised sound cartoon system in the late 1920s, Noble's career drifted into anonymity in the 1930s as opportunities for independent animation in the UK dried up.