Secrets of British Animation

A riotous and entertaining ride through more than a century of Animation in Britain - Secrets of British Animation explores the creative and technical inventiveness of our greatest animation pioneers.

BBC Four and iPlayer (link).

“If it’s moving, it’s magical - the eccentric world of painstaking creations” Financial Times - 5 Stars ★★★★★

“Like the hand-made films on show, the result is often magical.” - Radio Times

Opening titles

Do You Want To Know A Secret?

The defining characteristic of British animation can be summed up as ingenuity: unable to compete with the big American studios, animators in Britain were forced to experiment, developing their own signature styles. Secrets of British Animation uncovers the trade secrets of animation legends such as Bob Godfrey, John Halas & Joy Batchelor, Len Lye and Bristol’s world-conquering Aardman Animations.

The programme uses its own eye-catching animation to make the world of its interviewees come to life, and specially shot sequences show celebrated animators deconstructing their craft:-


Aardman Animations

Peter Lord demonstrates how Morph’s ‘percussive’ walk emerged from the limitations of working with clay.


Osbert Parker

Osbert Parker recreates Clothes, his classic animation where vintage outfits come alive and dance. 

Tracing the development of British Animation from the end of the Victorian era to today’s blockbusters, Secrets of British Animation shows the perseverance and determination that are part of the animator’s mind-set. Focusing on the handmade tradition of animation in the UK, the programme includes newly-remastered early films from the archive of the British Film Institute. 

CREDITS: Producer/Director - Sebastian Barfield. Executive Producer, John Das. Production Coordinator, Sophie Taylor. Camera, Chris Vile & Mark Chandler. Titles and Graphics, BDH Creative. Additional Animation & Camera, Reuben Armstrong. Editor, Alex Boyle.