This film is part of Free

The Mathematician

2 + 2 = BOOM! The apocalyptic danger of maths is explored in this computer animated cartoon from the mind of Stan Hayward

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1976 3 mins


If you struggle with maths then breathe a sigh of relief. Take your quadratic equations too far and BOOM! This BFI funded cartoon brought together emerging computer animation techniques and traditional cel animation. The characters were animated and then drawn onto cels by a graph plotter on a “mini-computer” at the Imperial College London, before being painted and filmed on a rostrum camera.

Stan Hayward’s unique gift for writing stories for cartoons has long enlightened British animation. He worked with George Dunning and Richard Williams, but is best known as the creator of Henry’s Cat with Bob Godfrey. His work exploring and advocating for the use of computers in animation is less known, but the two trends come together perfectly in this film with a typically killer punchline.