Animal Farm

English-American animation, colour, 1954, dir: Joy Batchelor, John Halas, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian, 72’



09.22. 17:30

Supporting film: The History of Cinema

Directed by Joy Batchelor, John Halas
Screenplay by Lothar Wolff, Borden Mace
Director of photography: Sid Griffiths, John Gurr
Music by Matyas Seiber
Cast (voices): Gordon Heath, Maurice Denham
Genre: animation
Production: Halas & Batchelor

John Halas’s movie was based on Orwell’s tale 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.

Supporting film:
The History of Cinema (by John Halas), ‘8, 1956

Q&A: Vivien Halas, daughter of John Halas, film director. Moderator: Fülöp József (MOME)