This film is part of Free

The Boy and the Song

Travel on a pitch purrfect mid-winter odyssey inspired by song with a cartoon boy and his devoted cat.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1976 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A cartoon boy soprano and his affectionate cat weather the storms prompted by the wintry words of traditional Celtic and Northumbrian folk songs and a Christmas carol. Modelled on animator Sheila Graber’s nephew and pet cat muse Whitey, this duo’s child-friendly adventures are in a rich tradition of screen animation, saturated with feline fur and whiskers.

One of the earliest amateur works by Sheila Graber, the action on this animation was synched to the clear soprano voice of Brenda Orwin, a music teacher at the South Shields secondary modern school where Graber taught art. Her adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, and a successful children’s television series, Best Friends, which was broadcast on TV in fifteen countries, earned Graber an international reputation in the 1980s.