Friday, 31 August 2012

A few more public information films

Dinosaur is a 1968 public information film by Nicholas Spargo, of Willo the Wisp fame. Promoting awareness of new road signs, it shows a man becoming a dinosaur as he enters his car because he doesn't know the new signs.

Next is Safeguarding Water Supplies, a Country Code film. Made by Guild Animation it is a companion piece to When in the Country, which I wrote about here.

And finally, a Green Cross Code short, Splink, from the seventies. The rather unfortunate "Splink" tagline (find a Safe place to stop, Look and listen for traffic, wait If there is traffic, walk if there is No traffic, Keep looking for traffic) was later dropped in favour of the far lass cumbersome Stop, Look, Listen, Live.

There was also live action films as part of this campaign featuring John Pertwee, then playing Doctor Who. I think that the character in this short may be an animated version of the Play School presenter Derek Griffiths, although I'm not entirely sure...

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Animaland: The Lion

The Lion (1948) is the first in the David Hand-produced Animaland series. It was directed by Bert Felstead, with animation by Stan Pearsall, Ted Percival, Bill Hopper, John Wilson and Chick Henderson. Like the other Animaland shorts it is rough around the edges but is unusual as an example of a British studio going all-out to emulate the style of contemporary American animation. Hand, of course, was a veteran Disney animator, having directed Snow White, Bambi and numerous shorts.

The Lion appears to have been Felstead's directorial debut, as I can find no film credits for him outside of the nine Animaland films. Steve Holland has a great blog post charting Felstead's career as a comic artist in the fifties, sixties and seventies.

Despite being the star the lion, later christened Zimmy, was not the character who caught on. Instead, the crew appear to have preferred the unnamed parrot that appeared in one scene: redesigned but with voice and personality intact he served as the basis for Corny Crow, a regular character from later on in the series.