Remembering John Halas

If you are unfamiliar with the life and work of John Halas (1912-1995), or simply know his name from his feature length Animal Farm (1954) – or TV cartoons like Do-Do The Kid From Outer Space (1964) – you owe it to yourself to watch this 12 minute tribute. Released online today in celebration of her father’s 100th birthday, Viviene Halas produced this short documentary about her dad (one of the founding fathers of ASIFA, co-director/co-producer of numerous animated shorts and commercial films, and author of several important books on animation) containing some rare footage and reminiscences by studio survivors.

(Thanks, Jamie K. Bolio)


  • Dan Haskett

    Wonderful post. Halas co-authored the first real animation book I read (and re-read, several times). It was a huge help to a teenage budding animator to see what the art form was capable of; a terrific mind-opener. Great to see Harold Whitaker and his colleagues at long last.

  • Bud

    Wonderful! Thank you for posting!

  • Jez Stewart

    Vivien Halas has done so much to protect and promote the achievements of her parents, and this video is also a testament to her efforts. I love the idea that John is remembered in the States for Do-Do. Having watched nearly every episode of the series in a short space of time i have a fondness for it myself, but i would encourage people to seek out Automania 2000, The History of the Cinema, and Autobahn as well.

    John was a fascinating and unique figure in animation history, with a truly international impact, and should not be forgotten. The inimitable Bob Godfrey once called him “a great womb of animation”, and John certainly did more for the British animation industry than anyone else.

    See the Halas & Batchelor Collection web page for events across the globe to mark his centenary: http://www.halasandbatchelor.co.uk/events.asp

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Certainly people should watch those especially.

  • Gerry

    John Halas was the John Mayall of British animation. He incubated more up and coming artists than anyone.

  • http://mousetracksonline.com/blog.php Greg Ehrbar

    Halas and Batchelor also produced animation for Rankin/Bass projects, including Jackson 5ive, The Osmonds and particularly the marvelous “Tomfoolery,” a wonderfully surreal realization of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll poetry (“I DO TERRIBLE THINGS WHEN MY ICE CREAM GETS COLD!!!!”)

    • dbenson

      Think they also did some of the television Popeyes, which even a child’s eye could tell moved differently — not better, necessarily, but differently.

      Halas and Batchelor did an animated version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Ruddigore,” which so far as I know never made it to American video. I remember it from a long-ago TV showing as being rather appealing, with a modern style that still suited the Victorian subject matter.

  • Lippy

    Thank you for posting this, Jerry.
    Halas was one of my first, great, Heroes!