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Animation in Britain. Len Lye George Dunning Bob Godfrey Halas and Batchelor Brothers Quay Aardman studio Nick Park. Len Lye (1901-1980). 1901 born in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Animation in Britain

Len Lye

George Dunning

Bob Godfrey

Halas and Batchelor

Brothers Quay

Aardman studio

Nick Park


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Len Lye (1901-1980)

1901 born in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Lye was deeply interested in movement and wanted to portray kinetic energy within artistic works; he also drew on aboriginal art, which for Lye again represented a 'pre-rational' artistic tradition.


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Len Lye (1901-1980)

1923 moved to Australia, Sydney to continue art studies

1924 returned to New Zealand to study Poyinesian culture and tribal art

1926-1929 moved to London where he made drawings for what would eventually become his first film, Tusalava.

The film was a painstaking effort, involving around 4000 separate drawings, but the result was a unique animated film that dramatized active processes of a not-quite-concrete nature.


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Len Lye (1901-1980)

1933 Experimental Animation (aka Peanut Vendor) a three-minute puppet film sponsored by exhibitor Sidney Bernstein.

1933 joinined the GPO Film Unit and began to experiment with painting directly onto celluloid, a technique that he pioneered.

1935 A Colour Box

In order to satisfy sponsorship requirements he had to include advertising slogans, but managed to do so without relinquishing his abstract objectives.


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Len Lye (1901-1980)

1936 Kaleidoscope - a puppet film with Humphrey Jennings.

1936 Rainbow Dance - experimented with the Gasparcolour process.

1937 Trade tattoo

1941-1945 during the war made a number of propaganda films for the Ministry of Information as well as filming British material for the American series March of Time.


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Len Lye (1901-1980)

1943 moved to New York

1952 Color cry

1958 Free radicals

co-directed four educational one-reel films with I.A. Richards. This marked a new stage in his career, and in the post-war period, he continued experiments in abstract filmmaking, as well as making a number of kinetic sculptures exhibited Howard Wise Gallery in NY.

Trilogy – kinetic sculture

1968 returned to New Zealand

Govet-Brewster Art Gallery

in New Plymouth, New Zealand


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

  • 1912 John Halas born in Budapest, Hungary

  • 1914 Joy Batchelor born in London, England

  • 1932 John Halas (János Halász) formed his first film studio in Budapest after work with George Pal.


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

  • Halas left Hungary for a job in Paris where he also continued studies he had begun in Budapest. During this period, Joy Batchelor was an established illustrator producing work for fashion magazines and newspapers in London.

  • 1936 moved to London complete the production of Music Man (1938), met Joy Batchelor, who also worked on the film.


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

  • 1938 Music Man

  • 1940 Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films Ltd was established in Bush House, Aldwych - the headquarters for the J Walter Thompson advertising agency.


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

1940 Train Trouble for Kellogg’s Cornflakes and a cinema commercial for Unilever’s Lux soap flakes

1941-1945 worked on public information films for government departments during the war

  • 1940 - late 1950’s propaganda and public information films.

  • 1940 Carnival in the Clothes Cupboard

  • 1941 Dustbin Parade

  • 1943 Health in Jungle Warfare

  • 1950’s represented the true birth of the studio as a recognised source of high quality animated films. It continued to make public information films for governmental offices.

  • 1951-54 Animal Farm first English the feature-length production.


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

  • 1951-54 Animal Farm first English the feature-length production.


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

increased number of commissioned commercials, and in particular animated commercialsforty producers of cartoon films with the arrival of ITV.

  • 1955 was promoted as the largest cartoon studio in Europe.

  • 1959 turn out 39 one-reelers for theatrical and Television release at least 10 industrial reels, and about 250 Television commercials.

  • 1959-1960 Foo Foo

  • 1959-1960 Habatales

  • 1960 Snip and Snap

  • 1963 Automania 2000


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Halas & Batchelor StudiosJohn Halas (1912-1995) and Joy Batchelor (1914-1991)

1964 feature length animated film Ruddigore

based on the Gilbert and Sullivan musical developed by Joy Batchelor.

  • late 1960's sold some shares in the studio to Tyne Tees Television.

  • 1970 sold the studio

  • mid 1970's bought the studio back from Tyne Tees Television.

  • 1974 European Folk Tales (1974), a series of thirty-three films co-produced with the Italian television station RAI.

  • 1970’s thus became more concentrated on the European market and co-productions and less on the USA

  • 1984-1986 Great Masters series -Botticelli (1984) , Leonardo da Vinci (1986) and Toulouse-Lautrec (1986)


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

  • 1920 born in Toronto

    study at the Ontario School of Art and freelance work as an illustrator,

  • 1943 joined National Film Board of Canada, worked with Norman McLaren. Directed his first film the same year, Auprès de ma blonde, one in a series of 'Chants populaires'.


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

  • 1947 Cadet Rousselle

    Instead of conventional animation, the film used flat metal figures, treated almost as puppets, their position altered frame by frame.

  • 1948 worked for UNESCO in Paris under the mentorship of Czech-born animator Berthold Bartosch.further experimentation with painted designs onto glass

  • 1949 returned to Canada and worked on a grant from the NFB to continue his experiments with painting on glass.

  • 1949 formed the company Graphic Associates with another former NFB artist Jim McKay to generate the commercials and industrial spots that provided his life's bread and butter.

  • 1955 worked on UPA's Gerald McBoing Boing television show in New York


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

1956 moved to England to manage UPA’s new London office.

  • 1958 began The Wardrobe

  • 1961 Dunning's production company, TVC, was producing about one hundred commercials a year, eight films for the National Coal Board's work safety campaign.

  • 1962 The Apple - winner of a British Film Academy award

  • 1962 The Flying Man - won the Grand Prix at Annecy's International Animation Festival.

  • 1967 The Ladder - further developed the brushstroke technique in a story with the 'eternal triangle' theme.

  • 1967 Canada Is My Piano, a triple-screen film for the Montréal 1967 Expo.


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

1968 Yellow Submarine, Beatles animation extravaganza produced by Dunning's company T.V.C. London.


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

Yellow Submarine 1968


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George Dunning (1920-1979)

commissioned by King Features in America - storyline and a visual approach capacious enough to sustain a feature and embrace a dozen Beatles songs. rotating the graphic style with each song

Director, supervisor of the army of over 200 artists – 11 monthsworked with art director Heinz Edelmann, the German poster artist, Charles Jenkins, responsible for specific technical effects, animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes; Erich Segal, script wwriter, Alison de Vere, the chief background supervisor; and John Coates.

'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' sequence.

1972 Damon the Mower

  • 1973 The Maggot -Annecy prize-winner

  • 1979 died in London during the work

    on Shakespeare's The Tempest.


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Bob Godfreyb.1921

  • 1921 born in West Maitland, Australiaeducated in Ilford, and later at Leyton Art School.

  • 1931 graphic artist for Lever Brothersadvertising soap and sausages for Lintas, gained work for the Rank-financed GB Animation unit. Worked in London on ancillary products related to the Disney-styled Animaland series


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Bob Godfreyb.1921

  • 1950 he joined the W. M. Larkins Studio, which sought to draw upon modern art sources and comic strip idioms in the creation of sophisticated promotional and technical films.

  • 1952 member of the semi-professional Grasshoppers group

  • 1952 The Big Parade.

  • 1955 formed Biographic Films with Jeff Hale, Keith Learner, Nancy Hanna and Vera Linnecarfirst commercials for ITV.

  • 1959 Polygamous Polonius

  • 1961 Do It Yourself Cartoon Kit


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Bob Godfreyb.1921

music hall routinesavant-garde comedy political satireconcerns with British attitudes to sex and social conductsurreal satire on the social identity of the 'small' man and the inhibitions of British masculinity

  • 1964 left Biographic to form Bob Godfrey Films mock-erotic exploitation films (co-written with Stan Hayward)

  • 1970 Henry 9 'til 5

  • 1971 Kama Sutra Rides Again

  • 1975 Roobarb and Custard


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Bob Godfreyb.1921

  • 1978 Skylark

  • 1979 Dream Doll

  • 1975 biography of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, GREAT - Oscar-winning

  • 1980 Instant Sex

  • 1981 Bio-Woman

  • 1983 Henry's Cat

  • 1986 awarded an MBE

  • 1994 Oscar nomination for Small Talk,

  • 1995 asked by John Halas to make the British contribution to the Know Your Europeans series

  • 2000 Millennium - the Musical amusingly condenses the whole of British history into a manageable half-hour.

  • 2002 Kevin Saves the World


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Stephen and Timothy Quay b. 1947

  • 1947 identical twins, born in Norristown, near Philadelphia

  • 1969 graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art (illustration and graphics) and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London.

  • Made first short film at the School of Film and Television and met fellow student Keith Griffiths


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Stephen and Timothy Quay b. 1947

1979 Nocturna Artificialia funded by the BFI Production Board – collaboration with Keith Griffiths

  • Working together as Koninck Studios, with Griffithssurreal and fastidious puppet animation films, supplemented by design work for opera, theatre and ballet, TV commercials, channel identification footage, and numerous music videos, including the Stille Nacht series, and, less characteristically, Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer.

    immersion in European art, literature, and culture

    the diaries of Franz Kafka

    Wladyslaw Starewicz, Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Švankmajer

    polish writer and artist, Bruno Schulz - Street of Crocodiles


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Stephen and Timothy Quay b. 1947

1984 Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer


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Stephen and Timothy Quay b. 1947

1984 Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer


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Stephen and Timothy Quay b. 1947

puppetsconstruct their own setsarrange the lightingcamerasatmosphere1986 the Street of Crocodiles



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Stephen and Timothy Quay b. 1947

  • 1988 Rehearsals For Extinct Anatomies

    1990 The Comb

  • 1991 De Artificiali Perspectiva, or Anamorphosis

  • 1991 The Calligrapher

  • 1995 Institute Benjamenta (UK/Japan/Germany), inspired by the

    writings of the Swiss novelist Robert Walser.

  • 2002 collaborations with the choreographer William Tuckett in Julie Taymor's Frida (US)

  • 2005 The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (Germany/UK/France)




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Aardman studio

Nick Park

an Academy Award winning animation studio based in Bristol, UK

claymation/stop-motion animation productions

  • mid 1970s founded as a small backyard project by an ambitious pair named Peter Lord and David Sproxtonanimated sequences for the children's art series Vision On and Morph


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

number of shorts for Channel 4; these included the Conversation Pieces series. These five shorts worked in the same area as the two shorts Lord and Sproxton made for Animated Conversations, but were more sophisticated. Lord and Sproxton began hiring more animators at this point; three of the newcomers made their directorial debut at Aardman with the Lip Synch series. Of the five Lip Synch shorts two were directed by Peter Lord, one by Barry Purves, one by Richard Goleszowski and one by Nick Park.

  • Park's short, Creature Comforts, was the first Aardman production to win an Oskar.

  • Park also developed the world-famous clay modelled shorts featuring the adventures of Wallace & Gromit


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Aardman studio

Nick Park


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Aardman studio

Nick Park


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

1989 A Grand Day Out

  • 1993 The Wrong Trousers Oscar – winning

  • 1995 A Close Shave Oscar – winning

  • 2000 Aardman Studios "let the birds" fly with Chicken Run, Aardman's first feature film.

  • 2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Academy award for full-length animated film.


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Aardman studio

Nick Park


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

2005 a fire at Aardman's storage warehouse destroyed over 30 years of props, models, scenery and awards collected by the company. This warehouse was used for storage of past projects and so did not prevent the production of their current projects at the time. An electrical fault was determined to be the cause of the blaze.

"Even though it is a precious and nostalgic collection and valuable to the company, in light of other tragedies, today isn't a big deal."


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

  • 1958 born in Preston, Lancashire

    started making films in his parent's attic at the age of 13.


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

1975 One of his earliest works entitled "Archie's Concrete Nightmare" was shown on BBC Television

  • 1980 BA degree in Communication Arts at Sheffield Art School

  • 1980 study animation at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield where he began work on "A Grand Day Out".

  • 1985 joined Aardman Animations and it was here that he completed "A Grand Day Out" in 1989. The film won the BAFTA award for Best Short Animated Film in 1990 and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same year.

    worked as Director and Animator on numerous projects, including pop promos, title sequences and inserts for children's television.


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

1989 "Creature Comforts" - Oscar for the Best Short Animated Film

  • 1993 "The Wrong Trousers" Oscar for Best Short Animated Film from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in March 1994.

  • 1996 "A Close Shave"


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Aardman studio

Nick Park

1989 "Creature Comforts" - Oscar for the Best Short Animated Film

  • 1993 "The Wrong Trousers" Oscar for Best Short Animated Film from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in March 1994.

  • 1996 "A Close Shave"


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