Catalogue number
  • IWM 1216
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  • whole: Number Of Items/reels/tapes 1

© IWM (IWM 1216)

License Film
Object description

Short, humorous stop-frame animation propaganda film made for British Home Front audiences during the First World War.

Physical description


Full description

The film consists solely of a series of animated jokes, drawn and lettered directly onto the screen by "our famous artist". The artist's hand is shown (speeded up) as a scene is drawn with a brush, and then inhabited by animated cut-outs, moved frame-by-frame. The illustrations are in a comic style similar to Bruce Bairnsfather. The artist interjects comments on his own performance, eg "I receive remuneration for doing this sometimes", "A little encouragement would oblige", etc. The principal animated episodes are as follows. "Exclusive view of the countless prisoners captured by the Germans" - the prisoners are moving dummies on an endless belt operated by the Kaiser himself. "In the remainder of the front there is nothing to report" - it is a shirt front. "Zeppelin reconnoitring over Greece" - a fly and a bowl of dripping. "The German Fleet sails out to meet the British" - a change of perspective reveals the drawing to be of houses, chimneys and telegraph poles - "Sorry my mistake". "An explanation of the expression 'Curtain Fire'" - a curtained window beside a fireplace: "See the point?" - a gimlet or corkscrew. "A moon ... A star ... Two stars ... Three stars" - the three stars are on a bottle which the moon drinks, becoming drunk and then ("Whoa Emma ... I'm off home") setting. "Last night we gained three metres: Berlin" - three German soldiers cross the screen then return, each carrying a gas meter. "Another Zeppelin destroyed" - a caricature Charlie Chaplin in a wheelchair ultimately defeats the Zeppelin by having it tie itself in knots over the unpronounceable name of a Russian victory, after which he grins, stands up and pins a medal on himself.

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