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The “Bill Bailey” punchline might have lost its meaning over the years, but this comic gag short features some of Britain’s earliest animation
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1904 1 mins Silent
Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home? No, not the surreal, half-hirsute comedian. Hughie Cannon’s 1902 jazz song was top of the pops on both side of the Atlantic in the early 20th century, and is the reference that makes this gag short make sense. But the real importance of the film today is that it seems to be the earliest date-verified example of stop-motion animation in the BFI National Archive collection.
Studdy's War Cartoons
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1915 6 mins Silent
Animated WWI-era comic highlights from the innovative cartoonist George Studdy, creator of Bonzo the dog.
Dicky Dee's Cartoons No.3
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1915 5 mins Silent
An edible bomb is cooked by the Kaiser in this fun WWI cartoon, which mixes propaganda with fantasy as a boy's dreams turn into nightmares.
A Pencil and Alick P.F. Ritchie
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1915 7 mins Silent
More chalk-talker than pencil-pusher, this popular artist recreates his cartoons for the screen with flashes of added animation.
Ever Been Had
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1917 9 mins Silent
Blackly comic cartoon portrait of an apocalyptic England, destroyed 50 years after signing a premature peace in WWI.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1915 1 mins Silent
Pioneering visual graphics – with added cotton wool – recreate an incendiary WWI incident involving a stricken British submarine.
Peter's Picture Poems
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1917 3 mins Silent
A star-spangled sock on the nose for Kaiser Wilhelm, as this wordplay propaganda cartoon meets war crimes with pun-ishment
Grounded on the Platters: HMS Conway
Home movie 1953 7 mins Silent Location: Anglesey/Ynysmôn
A sorry end to any ship: timings, tide and wind played their part in pushing HMS Conway onto the Platters rocks in the Menai Strait on 14/4/1953.
Exeter Real Ale Festival
News 1975 3 mins Location: Exeter
The wet and warm ale goes down a treat as aficionados gather to celebrate real ale.
Home movie 1955 8 mins Silent Location: Llanddwyn Island/Ynys Llanddwyn
Sea pinks and samphire, lighthouses and church ruins – Llanddwyn’s charms are many and varied.
News 1979 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Experimentation with a coat for two leaves couples with really no escape.
Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music
News 1970 2 mins Location: Shepton Mallet
Progressive gathering of festival goers hits the blues.
Dawson: Lower Penn Show
Home movie 1954 4 mins Silent Location: Lower Penn
Another blustery summer day in the 1950s and it's Lower Penn's carnival parade.