This film is part of Free

The United Kingdom

What does it mean to be British? You might not have a much clearer idea after watching this animated portrait, but you will certainly be entertained

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1994 5 mins


With the ink drying on the Maastricht Treaty, animators across Europe were commissioned to make cartoon calling cards for their respective countries under the title “Know Your Europeans”. Britain’s first animated Oscar winner Bob Godfrey, best known for his work on Roobarb and Henry’s Cat, was chosen to make the UK entry, which he handles with a typical mix of irreverence, ingenuity and humour. Long-term collaborator Colin Pearson contributes the lyrics, with Chris “Red Dwarf” Barrie the voice.

The film was co-produced by Halas & Batchelor, with the Hungarian-born, naturalised Brit, John Halas the main utopian spark behind the project. Eurosceptics might not be surprised that the project fell somewhat short of its original ambitions, and this UK effort was one of the few films completed.