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.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1981 3 mins Location: South Shields
Marking time on a face, a swift, bleak portrait of a man from cradle to grave.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1952 21 mins Location: Leeds
A magical film in many ways, a fairy tale story using trick photography and with artful and imaginative stop motion animation.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1965 3 mins Location: Wakefield
A once common object in many households becomes transformed into a quirky dancing troupe in this simple homespun animation.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1970 4 mins Location: Flatford Mill
An iconic rural scene becomes a protest site for the bitter yet comic vision of prolific amateur animator Derek Phillips
Amateur film 1955 9 mins Silent
Charge into this slick amateur cartoon from the Grasshopper Group which was three years in the making
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1957 4 mins
Specially commended by ‘Amateur Cine World'. Nineteen fifties claymation by Douglas Butcher offering tongue-in-cheek advice for life.
Amateur film 1977 6 mins Silent Location: South Shields
One big happy family on the streets of South Shields for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee visit.
Amateur film 1980 8 mins Silent Location: South Shields
Going with the flow on the River Tyne at South Shields.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1976 4 mins Location: South Shields
Getting there: enjoy a racy history of transport and travel by land, sea and air.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1978 3 mins Location: South Shields
An uptempo look at man’s passionate obsession with time from first light to the dawn of the digital age.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1980 4 mins Location: South Shields
Staying alive, from a single cell to a big bang. Blink and you’ll miss the end.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1983 5 mins Location: South Shields
A new build for a homeless frog who reveals the story of his double life to a rescuer.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.