Bob Godfrey’s Great (1975)

A rare treat is now online: Bob Godfrey’s epic animated short Great. This irreverent musical about 19th century British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel was the first British animated short to win an Oscar. It also won the BAFTA in 1975. Godfrey’s films usually don’t last long on YouTube so take a gander before it’s gone:


  • doug holverson

    Gawd, I loved this one when it popped up on PBS back in the ’70s!

    “She’s a big one!”

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    I recorded this on my Betamax back when it was on PBS. I still have the tape but the old Beta machine ain’t what she used to be. Anybody have this on VHS or DVD?

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    You can grab GREAT from youTube with the DownLoadHelper plugin for Firefox. Drop the FLV files into ConvertX or a similar program to make a DVD. Since YouTube has increased the quality of most of its video, DVDs made from YouTube files look pretty good.

  • Ed Thompson

    Also seen this in the 70′s on PBS. I Have spent a lot of years trying to find a good copy, without any luck. I keep checking on the BBC website hoping it would show up on something that would work here in the U.S. You would think someone somewhere would want to sell an Oscar winning short. Seeing it now, I don’t think it could be made today, because of the idea that cartoons must be made for children and this had…ADULT themes!

  • Russell H

    One is reminded of that luminous and deeply moving verse:

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel
    Gave off a peculiar smell
    That he bequeathed to the nation.
    It’s still there in Paddington Station.

    Anybody’s who’s been to Paddington Station will agree.

  • Chris Smigliano

    God, Thanks for showing this! I actually remembered watching this on a series PBS ran called THE INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL
    (hosted by Jean Marsh) Some of the music stuck with me for years!!
    Considering i was but a wee lad at the time it was shown, some of the material really surprised me! No sex, please, we’re British my arse!! This is such a brilliant film!!

  • http://www.straandlooper.com Ali

    Great to see this again after over thirty years! I was a young animator at the time when I sat with Bob in ‘Bob’s Place’ in Wardour Street watching the rushes – early seventies some time. Still stands up remarkably well.

  • Michael Wolff

    (wipes a tear from his eye) God bless you for posting this short.

  • Steve Pretzel

    I can’t understand why this is no longer available on YouTube. If I could buy a copy of this film I gladly would – but having spent considerable time looking I can only conclude that no one anywhere is selling it. So … if no one stands to lose revenue by having it made publicly available, there’s no commercial reason for not giving it away. I remember seeing it in 1976 and it made a big impression. Now with ‘IKB’ celebrated via the London Olympics Opening Ceremony it would be a great time to re-release it – or at least stop hiding it away!

  • http://www.bobgodfreyfilms.com Tom

    Please feel free to donate the £10 000s in order for us to try and buy back the rights and get a full restoration completed…..