IWM's impressive film collection holds over 25,000 hours of moving images, including official newsreels, public information films, cartoons and documentaries, representing over a hundred years of filmmaking.
For this series, IWM curators introduce us to their highlights from this vast collection.
Halas & Batchelor's RAF recruitment cartoon
First Line of Defence is a short cartoon recruitment film for the RAF created in 1949 by animation duo Halas and Batchelor. The story follows a trainee pilot dreaming about the history of flight, and it's one of the dozens of films created by John Halas and Joy Batchelor for the War Office. IWM Curator Helen Upcraft introduces us to this delightful cartoon.
Explore our film archive
IWM Film is designed for the needs of commercial researchers. We have licensed footage for use in productions for over 60 years, contributing material to major documentary series, feature films and more.