Joy Batchelor 12 May 1914 – 14 May 1991

25 years since her death and the world is a different place. After spending the war making propaganda and information films such as Dustbin Parade (1942) viewable here (1942), and the immediate post war era making films to rebuild Europe such as Shoemaker and the Hatter (1950) clip and Think of the Future (1953) clip both made for the Marshall Plan, Joy passionately believed in the socialist dream. Both she and John felt that animation could be used to make the world a better place as their series of films for the COI featuring Charley an everyman character who helped »

A Bauhaus archive in our home

Just before Easter this year the BFI, or should I say Jez and a van driver, took most of the remaining archive materials from my office in Lewes to the BFI National Archive in Berkhamsted and two days later Paul Wells and Steve Henderson came in a slightly larger van and saved quantities of tapes and other documents and books for The Animation Academy Collection at Loughborough. This reminded me of how in 1994 just around his 82nd birthday on April 16 my father set up the first Halas & Batchelor Archive in a brand new purpose built archive/office »

Jiri Trnka as John knew him

An article written by John Halas in 1980 on the legendary Czech animator Jiri Trnka (1912-1969). JIRI TRNKA AS I KNEW HIM It was April 1947. I arrived through a devastated Germany in Prague with my young Hungarian nephew who by chance had been found in an orphanage in Buckinghamshire among refugees from Central Europe. After putting him on a train at Prague Central Station for Budapest, I proceeded to my appointment in the studios of Kratki Brothers, the new Czechoslovakian animation unit in the centre of the city. I was greeted by Eduard Hofman, the head of the studio »

Brian Borthwick (1930-2015)

Brian Borthwick died on November 16th, the day by some strange co-incidence I was in the Imperial War Museum viewing one of his first films made for Halas & Batchelor in 1946, Coastal Navigation. He would have been around 16 at the time. You can read his biography here My memories of Brian are that he was always working away in the background; my parents depended on his skills as a model maker, draftsman, artist, animator and technician. He was someone who enjoyed solving problems as well as initiating ideas. One summer in »

Encounter With Moholy-Nagy

In 1980 John Halas wrote this memoir essay about his time in the Mühely - the Hungarian Bauhaus. Thanks to Vivien Halas for allowing us to reprint it here. All the stills are from the film A Memory of Moholy-Nagy that John produced in 1990. ‘MÜHELY’ founded in Budapest soon after the collapse of the 'BAUHAUS', was reputed to be at the time the only establishment which carried on the 'BAUHAUS' tradition. There are two possible translations of 'MÜHELY' into English. The first is "STUDIO'; the second 'WORKSHOP'. In the specific period, in the context of the function it fulfilled »