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The Professor

A nutty professor meets a very hungry caterpillar in this animated chase cartoon brimming with swinging 60s backdrops.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1967 7 mins


Few things work better in cinema than a chase: narrative can take a back seat to well-choreographed pursuit, and that goes doubly for animation. Who wants to see Tom stand still next to Jerry? This British short has little story but plenty of action as a nutty professor chases a very hungry caterpillar through a panoply of backgrounds that could have been torn from a 60s wallpaper sampler.

This appears to be the only entertainment cartoon produced by the Rank Organisation's Short Film Group, a company set up to make sponsored training films for industry. The animation director, George Jackson, had a history with J Arthur Rank, having trained at the post-war Gaumont British Animation studio. Director and designer Peter See worked with Jackson into the 1980s on productions such as Watership Down. Cosgrove Hall's 1989 version of The BFG is dedicated to the Jackson, who died during its production.