UK Animated Movie (1955). Louis de Rochemont/Halas-Batchelor. Pr Joy Batchelor, John Halas. Dir Joy Batchelor, John Halas. Anim dir John F Reed. Screenplay Joy Batchelor, John Halas, Borden Mace, Philip Stapp, Luther Wolff. Based on Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (1945 chap) by George Orwell. Voice actors Maurice Denham (all except Narrator), Gordon Heath (Narrator). 75 mins. Colour.
A fairly faithful rendition of Orwell's original, although with a slightly more upbeat ending and a minor shift in the slant of the Satire, so that it excoriates the totalitarian corruption of Communism rather than Communism as a notion (indeed, much of the movie, and in particular its final moments, seems to present a socialist viewpoint; it is not that the system is especially corruptible, but that individuals will corrupt it if the rest of society lets them), AF has been widely underestimated: its animation – especially of the pig Napoleon – is of Disney quality (albeit not the very best Disney), and the tale, mainly narrated but with some dialogue, is grippingly told in terms of both words and visuals. [JG]