Saturday, 10 September 2011
Brian Pickersgill's Oh Whiskers!
About a year ago I mentioned that Brian Pickersgill made a 1939 film with the GPO called Oh Whiskers! but had no more information on either Pickersgill or his film.
Sine then I've managed to see the film in question, and more recently I checked my blog's stats and noticed that "Brian Pickersgill animator" was one of the top search terms - he has a following, clearly...
Rather unexpectedly for a GPO film, Oh Whiskers! turns out to have nothing to do with postal services; instead, it is a children's educational short made for the Ministry of Health, advising kids to wash in the morning, eat healthy food and go to bed early. It stars a knitted character named Whiskers and his stop-motion toy friends, and is bookended with live action sequences featuring child actress Elizabeth Forbes as the toys' owner. The usage of toys recalls Arthur Melbourne-Cooper's pioneering films, although Whiskers' doll girlfriend is more reminiscent of Svankmajer.
According to IMDB, Pickersgill served as assistant director on a documentary short called North Sea in 1938; beyond that I'm afraid I know nothing more about his career.