Richly illustrated with unique material from the BFI archive, British Animation is the first authoritative account of the history, art and industry of animation in Britain, covering everything from the origins of animation at the end of the Victorian era to the 21st century’s pioneering digital techniques.
Jez Stewart tells the story of this extraordinarily fertile area of British film, from the first experiments with stop-motion to contemporary viral videos on YouTube. Animation boomed during WWI and faltered during the 1930s, when creatives turned their hands to advertising and sponsored films for survival, but there was a flourishing encouraged by the GPO Film Unit, which commissioned films by visionary artists like Len Lye, Norman McLaren and Lotte Reiniger that were then shown in cinemas.
Stewart highlights the integral role of women in the industry, the crucial boost delivered by the arrival of Channel 4 in 1982, the recent evolution of animation online and much more.
The book also features focused ‘close up’ analyses of key animators, studios and classic films, such as Anson Dyer’s Animal Farm (1954), Britain’s second animated feature Yellow Submarine (1968), the children’s classic Watership Down (1978) and the creations of Aardman Animations.
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