Halas and Batchelor’s 1954 animated feature based on the novel by George Orwell is the UK’s first animated film and celebrated it’s 60th anniversary in 2014 with a region B release blu-ray upgrade. Here is a good review of the new release by Skwigly online magazine‘s Steve Henderson. The Guardian also ran an nice overview of the politics involved with the film which was produced and funded by the CIA.

 

For me, this film fits in that space in animation for films that use the visual language of childrens animation but whose audience is adults. I can imagine children who were left with some disturbing feelings from watching this great film. Other animation that borrows from the tropes of childrens imagery and repurposes it for adults would include many of the films of Ralph Bakshi such as: Fritz the Cat, Cool World. or the Fleischer studio’s Betty Boop series or even the early Popeye series. This visual confusion can as in this case lead to some strange bedfellows.