Halas & Batchelor at 40 - a Hungarian perspective

To mark the 40th anniversary of Halas & Batchelor in the early 80s, John and Joy co-produced a four part documentary series on the history of their company for Hungarian television. Understandably given its origins, one of the most valuable parts of the series is the insight into the early years of John's career in Hungary. The video below is an extract discussing this period, and begins with an interview with Sándor Bortnyik, an interesting Hungarian artist and designer who become involved in the Bauhaus in Weimar after moving there in 1922. As we learn in this clip, back in »

Art and Animation - A History of Halas & Batchelor - Part 6

This post continues Roger Manvell's history of Halas & Batchelor, written for the 40th anniversary of the studio and re-edited by Paul Wells for the book Halas & Batchelor Cartoons: An Animated History in 2012. Here are links to parts one, two, three, four and five. This part covers the second half of the sixties. Two special productions in the field of entertainment involved the unit in a new kind of undertaking. The first was a wholly live-action film, The Monster of Highgate Pond (1961), sponsored by the Children’s Film Foundation, which specialises in producing entertainment for younger children. »

An apology, two excuses (one pretty lame), and an advert...

I am sorry that things have been quiet on the blog front recently (apology - check!) The day job has involved a lot of writing in the past few weeks, some of which has spilled outside of hours so the blog has been a little neglected (excuse 1 - check!) And - phew, it was a bit hot wasn't it? (lame excuse 2 - check!) But on the bright side one of those writing jobs a little while back has now been published in that venerable film publication Sight & Sound, and it involves Halas & Batchelor. This months issue »

"How I came to work for Halas & Batchelor" - Jenny Reyn

I first got the hint of a woman called Jenny working at Halas & Batchelor during the war in this interview with animators Liz and Dick Horn. Liz, says that when she joined the fledging company it had just two animators (other than John and Joy) Harold Mack and "a lovely girl called Jenny - I became her assistant". The name was new to me and a bit of googling led me to this profile piece from the excellent Bear Alley website in which I learnt that Jenny Reyn was the professional name of an Edna Reynolds, later Edna Clarke »

Some of the lost women

After reading my post about "The Mystery of the Disappearing Women" Vivien forwarded this picture of some of them. There are some names on the back of the photo, but I knew four of them, and have been lucky enough to meet two of them. The front row is, left to right - Vera Linnecar, Elizabeth Horn (née Williams) and Wally Crook - all described in this post. In the centre of the back row is Beryl Stevens, and on her left was a possible "Eddie?". Beryl joined H&B around 1948 after a time at Gaumont-British Animation and »