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The Mail Goes Through

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The Mail Goes Through

Witness the no-so-great train robbery in this post-war cartoon, produced "in glorious monochrome"

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1947 10 mins

Overview

As master criminals go, the moustache twiddling Percy Vere may want to consider a change of career. As Fred and young Ernie pilot the Royal Mail's gold train to safety, Percy and his sidekick Bill attempt to pull off the robbery of the century with remarkable tenacity. The cartoon is filled with subtle gags and puns rather than slapstick Looney Tunes humour, but is let down by the dialogue-free soundtrack, which is sadly a little underdeveloped. Still, there are of a number of accomplished moving perspective shots - evidence of Wright’s architectural training.

The animation here is perhaps not as slick as American cartoons of the period, but it's remarkably proficient for a relative outsider to the industry. Lance White was a pseudonym for the architectural artist Lawrence Wright - a man whose restless energy led him to teach himself animation in his spare time between work life and a passion for gliding. His first cartoons were produced on the amateur 9.5mm film gauge and were (unsurprisingly) about architecture and aviation, but his 1940 wartime cartoon Adolf's Busy Day marked a more professional effort. Wright would later write a number of books including histories of the bed and the bathroom, but this appears to be his last animated film.