The Festival was presided over by the genial Antoinette Moses backed up by her efficient assistant Emily Dening. Well known faces from the animation world were there such as Bob Godfrey sporting a neatly cropped white beard, and John Halas bursting with enthusiasm for animation festiv¬als, and finding an appropriate word for everyone. He is looking remarkably fit and active for a man of seventy one.
The latest in British animation films were shown under three headings; British Contemporary films for children, British Contemporary Films and British Contemporary films: New Directions. Each programme was packed with variety and style and demonstrated what a healthy state British animation is in at the moment.
The programme of children’s films opened with THE SNOWMAN directed by Dianne Jackson. It was made for Channel 4 and was seen on TV last Christmas. It really is stunning on the big screen, particularly the flying sequences. The sequence where the snowman tries out different noses from a bowl of fruit brought the house down and at the end when the snowman was discovered melted one little child in the audience burst out crying.
SUPERTED AND THE STOLEN ROCKET-SHIP directed by David Edwards was a sample of a series that has been running on TV recently. It was made for the Welsh Channel 4 (S4C). HOW THE ARMADILLO CAME TO BE produced by Sheila Graber is one of a series of ‘Just So’ stories that has recently been released on video. The story is narrated with a delightful Newcastle accent.
IMBRIUM BEACH directed by Marcus Parker-Rhodes is a cut-out animation film done with style and humour. HENRY’S CAT from Bob Godfrey shows how economical TV animation can be. I overheard someone call it animated radio, just close your eyes and listen to Stan Heyward’s script. PADDINGTON GOES TO THE MOVIES animated by Barry Leith is a tribute to Gene Kelly and shows Paddington dancing and singing in the rain.