This film is part of Free


Charley's cat-astrophic teatime hijinks leave him with a burning message to share

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1973 1 mins


As if strangers, matches, and rivers weren't dangerous enough, now teapots are out to get you. Crafting a safety message for children young enough to need reminding not to pull tablecloths is a tricky business. The technique of using Charley as a surrogate for the child being hurt himself was apparently popular with psychiatrists employed by the Home Office.

The heartbreaking look of distress on the boy's face as he realises Charley has been hurt is immediately recognisable to parents, and evidence of the hidden sophistication behind an apparently simple technique. Few public information films have such iconic status, but this new transfer from the original negative brings a renewed brightness and colour to the series.