Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of one of the most important women who ever worked in animation: Joy Batchelor. With her husband, she ran the studio Halas & Batchelor, which was the largest English animation outfit for a good part of the 20th century and made that country’s first feature-length animated film, Animal Farm. But even though I’ve heard her name countless times, Joy Batchelor has always been just that: a name. Little has ever been written about her art or her role at the studio that bore her name. Thankfully that’s changed now with the terrific mini-doc called Ode to Joy directed by Martin Pickles and produced by Joy’s daughter, Vivien Halas:

Martin tells us:

Today is the centenary of the birth of Joy Batchelor, director, animator, designer and producer. Although a crucial figure in British animation, she has for years been unfairly passed over for recognition. Joy’s daughter, Vivien, and I have made a new short film about her, which seeks to redress that balance and to introduce Joy’s work to a wider audience. The film was made for the Joy Batchelor event at the Barbican on 13th April and re-shown at London Animation Club on 6th May.

Narrated by Zoe Wanamaker
Sound Recordist: Mike Wyeld
Sound design by Tom Lowe
Picture grade by Graham Skene
Original music by Tanera Dawkins
Directed and edited by Martin Pickles
Produced by Vivien Halas
A Halas & Batchelor Production 2014

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