Animal Farm

1954, UK-USA, Language: English, Subtitle: Hungarian (72’); Screening: 09.05, 13.00, Toldi Cinema, Kisterem

John Halas’s movie was based on Orwell’s novel Animal Farm. But it is like an Animal Farm fairy tale and not the social critique parable still of relevance today about the nature of man and its dark side. “Big and little, furred and feathered, every animal is equal”, says Napoleon, the obese and double-chinned pig calling the animals his comrades in his harangue, rousing them to rise up against Jones the farmer. Of course, it turns out that although everyone is equal, some are more equal than others. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the film made in 1954, in which the 70 staff of the Halas and Batchelor studio took part, was also backed by the CIA. Nor is it surprising to know that the work on which it was based, Orwell’s novel, could only be published in Hungary after the change of regime. 

Directed by: Joy Batchelor, John Halas (Halász János)
Written by: George Orwell
Screenplay by: Lothar Wolff, Borden Mace, Joseph Bryan, John Halas (Halász János), Joy Batchelor
Director of photography: Sid Griffiths, John Gurr, William Traylor, Roy Turk
Music by: Matyas Seiber (Seiber Mátyás)
Cast (voice): Maurice Denham, Gordon Heath
Genre: animation
Production: Halas & Batchelor, Central Intelligence Agency
Format: colour, 4:3