Note: I could not find YouTube or Vimeo video links to all films that were shown in the club so I embedded those that I could easily obtain.
Vivien Halas, Olly Brown, Jez Stewart, Emma Calder and Ged Haney were the guests of that evening’s London Animation Club.
The main animated film discussed in the club was Know Your Europeans (1994) by Bob Godfrey. He animated Roobarb (1974) and Henry’s Cat (1983 – 1993). He won an award for his film Great in 1976.
The guests discussed the production of Know Your Europeans. A box as part of the production of Know Your Europeans has a book that teaches people how to be European. There was an aim to make eleven 35-minute-long films for each country featured in the project.
Three notable storyboards consisted of two that were not good enough for the film and one for the Dutch entry. The budgets for the portions of each country varied.
A promo about Know Your Europeans was shown. It has a mixture of 2D hand drawn animation and stop-motion animation. By May 1994 the British, Irish and German entries were completed.
A small portion of the Dutch entry was shown as well as the German entry. Both consist of 2D hand drawn animation. It was claimed the team could not make a film accurately representing Germany without Hitler. The use of ” Dutch entry” etc made Martin Pickles, organiser of London Animation Club, think of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The United Kingdom entry was then shown. It contains a representation of Prince Charles as well as depictions of typical activities that British people partake in. The film consists of a mixture of hand drawn animations and still paintings.
The films shown during the club are the only ones that are currently available but the Portuguese entry might be available at one point.
More films with a European theme could be shown in future events of the club.
There was also a series of films revolving around a character called Charley about social security. A lot of viewers hated Charley possibly due to his floppy fringe. Part of one of the films, Charley in New Town, was shown. It covers concerns such as pollution and overcrowding.
An animation about the French Revolution entitled La révelution française was next shown. It has a combination of cut out animation and pixilation and was released in 1989 to mark the 200th anniversary of the start of the French Revolution.
Happy Birthday Switzerland was then shown. It was made to mark the 700th anniversary of the founding of the country and contains stereotypes of what the Swiss were believed to introduce such as chocolate, timepieces and Swiss rolls.
During World War II Viven’s parents made films. After the war they made a film called The Shoemaker and the Hatter (1950). This was the last film shown in the club and has a similar animation style to that in Charley in New Town. Below is a short portion of the film.
All films as part of the Know Your Europeans series have stereotypical jokes where the natives of the countries make fun of themselves.
Overall this was an interesting and intriguing London Animation Club event to attend, especially if I had seen Charley In New Town before.