|Napoleon the Pig – Animal Farm
Halas & Batchelor (1954)
Halas and Batchelor Cartoon Films was founded in 1940 by husband and wife team John Halas and Joy Batchelor; over the next 58 years they were to be one of the premiere animation studios in Western Europe. Their output include 70 propaganda films during the Second World War, children’s shows, full length cartoons (the first was Animal Farm in 1954 – unwittingly a propaganda film clandestinely funded by the CIA), musical shorts, educational cartoons and a series based on the popular books of Gerald Hoffnung – he of the Interplanetary Music Festival.
In 1961 they introduced Hamilton the Musical Elephant in two charming little shorts with soundtracks by British jazz great Johnny Dankworth (it was only later that he became the more formal John).
You have to wonder why the little guy only appeared it two cartoons though perhaps the creators wisely thought there were only so many plot lines you could create for a trumpet playing forgetful elephant.