The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Toys Will Be Toys
Barbie dolls in pink battle khaki killing machines in a Christmas animation that cocks a snook at the “Disney Doctrine”.
From the collection of:
In 1988 the celebrated South Shields animator Sheila Graber was troubled by the stereotypes promoted in toys for boys and girls, and indulged in a little utopian dreaming. At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, a rebel rock chick fairy subverts traditional gender mythmaking with magical music as children’s toys spring to life and do battle.
The guitar-wielding fairy in Sheila Graber’s film is probably a tribute to the important Venezuelan musician and composer, master of the cuatro (a small guitar or lute), Fredy Reyna, who gifted her the music on the film soundtrack and also had an extraordinary collection of historical toys. Graber stayed with the Reyna family whilst running an animation workshop at the Caracas Film Festival in 1987.