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Happy 100th Birthday Joy Batchelor! An Ode To Joy

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On this day, 12th May, in 1914, one of British animation’s key figures was born in a small terraced house in Watford: Joy Batchelor. Joy was one half of the animation studio Halas & Batchelor, which she ran with her husband, John Halas, whose  centenary was in 2012. Joy worked as an animator, director and producer, with perhaps her most well known production being Animal Farm.

To commemorate and celebrate the life and work of Joy Batchelor her daughter, Vivian Halas, teamed up with Martin Pickles of the London Animation Club to produce the following short film, “An Ode To Joy”.

The film is a great introduction into Joy’s work, but if it has whetted your appetite and you would like to delve deeper into the films and personal life of ‘the other, too-long-neglected, half of this great [Halas & Batcherlor] animation partnership ‘, a new book has also been released: A Moving Image: Joy Batchelor 1914-1991: Artist, Writer and Animator. The book takes a looks at Joy through the eyes of her daugter, Vivian Halas; curator of animation at BFI, Jez Stewart; former Channel 4 commissioning editor for animation, Clare Kitson, plus Jim Walker and Paul Wells.


Additionally, there are a number of events taking place this year where you will be able to view some of the films, including:

21 May 2014: Joy at Canary Wharf
As part of The Birds Eye View festival a series of Joy Batchelor’s films will be shown in the Underground at Canary Wharf.

12 July – 31 October 2014 – Animal Farm in Italy
The film will be shown as part of an exhibition titled ‘Noah’s Ark’ curated by Heinrich Schwazer at the fortress of Fortezza in South Tyrol in Italy. TBC

Plus more…
Keep an eye on the Skwigly events calendar for events and dates

Further viewing

Charley in New Towns (1947)

Dolly put the Kettle On (1949)

Dustbin Parade (1941)

The Five (1970)

Dying For A Smoke (1967)

Items mentioned in this article:

A Moving Image: Joy Batchelor 1914-1991: Artist, Writer and Animator

A Moving Image: Joy Batchelor 1914-1991: Artist, Writer and Animator


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