UK/ 1954/ 72 mins/ Dir. Joy Batchelor, John Halas
A successful farmyard revolution by the resident animals vs. the farmer goes horribly wrong as the victors create a new tyranny among themselves.
Animal Farm is a 1954 British-American adult animated comedy-drama film by Halas and Batchelor, based on the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was the first British animated feature to be released (Water for Firefighting and Handling Ships, two feature-length wartime training films, were produced earlier, but did not receive a formal cinema release). The US CIA paid for the filming, part of the American cultural offensive during the Cold War, and influenced how Orwell’s ideas were to be presented. The CIA initially funded Louis de Rochemont to begin work on a film version of Orwell’s work and he hired Halas & Batchelor, an animation firm in London that had made propaganda films for the British government.