Animal Farm was the first animated color feature film made in England made by Halas & Batchelor in 1954, and was one of their best works. The movie was based off George Orwell’s 1945 political novel, Animal Farm, where the animals took over the farm and formed a free, egalitarian socialist utopia. It is true that this film was initially made for propaganda for the British government by Halas & Batchelor, who were an animation company In London. The characters were made to represent real people during that time. For example, Mr. Jones represents Czar Nicholas II, Snowball represents Leon Trotsky, Napoleon represents Josef Stalin, and the dogs that Napoleon appoints as his security represent the NKVD.
Animal Farm was initially funded by the CIA. During the time of the release of Animal Farm, a comic strip version was put into newspapers, which were drawn by Harold Whitaker, who was one of the animators who worked on this movie. The characters in Animal Farm were voiced by a single person, being Maurice Denham. Around this time period many Disney films were being released in the 1950’s. In this novel. Animal Farm was very popular in Britain, just as popular as Snow White is to us. Some of the scenes from Animal farm were featured in “The Two Winstons,” and the final episode of Simon Schama’s program A History Of Britain.
Many people thought that because Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp were both clean and wholesome entertainment, that Animal Farm would be the same. But everyone was wrong. Animal Farm is the exact opposite. Only about 20 % of the film has dialogue form the humans and animals. Because of the minimal amount of dialogue, and because of the expressive faces of the characters, it allows the anger and tension to stay constant in the film and start building up, and to remain constant when necessary. The animators of Animal Farm did a very good job animating it and using their expressions to help move the film along. You understand what is going on and get a feeling on tension when you watch the film.
Throughout the entire film there is a very dark and dreary animation sense to it. When you watch it you are understanding that the animals aren’t happy and that something is wrong. The animation helps give this sense to the viewers that something tragic is happening and something isn’t right. There were scenes in this movie that the landscapes were drawn beautifully, and in some frames there are a lot of details in the drawing. The animation was very good in this movie and matched the storyline made by George Orwell in his book.
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“Stevie Banks, Movie Critic.” : Animal Farm (1954). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
Daniel J. Leab, Orwell Subverted, Pennsylvania State Press, 2007