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08 MARCH 2014

The Magic Canvas (1948): An animated quest for freedom

"After the war years the studio made this beautifully fluid experiment in animation, a remarkable achievement before computers were born. The film shows how the union of the material and spiritual natures of man can lead to fulfilment. John Halas with the Hungarian designer Peter Foldes produced and directed Magic Canvas with an original score by Matyas Sieber, a student of Bella Bartok."

Year: 1948; Length: 10 mins; Production: John Halas, Joy Batchelor; Direction: John Halas; Script: John Halas; Design: John Halas, Peter Foldes; Animation: Wally Crook; Music: Matyas Sieber.



19482D animation • abstract score • animation • associative images • balletbirdBritish animationcel animationdanceenvironment as antagonistescapeexistential insightexistentialismfreedomfulfilmentHalas and Batchelorhand-painted stop motion animationimprisonmentJohn HalasJoy Batchelor • Matyas Sieber • Peter Foldes • separation • struggling to be free • surrealist style • The Magic Canvas (1948) • traditional animationtrapped • visual association • visual metaphor • Wally Crook • war years


Simon Perkins

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