This film is part of Free
Carmen get your cartoon opera fix in this (very!) loose version of Bizet’s classic tale of romance and treachery.
This might not be the most authentic adaptation of the tempestuous tale of Don José and Carmen, but it is revealing of its own origins. Director Anson Dyer was already 20 years into his cartoon career having started making comic propaganda shorts in WW1. But this 'Colourtune' (filmed in somewhat-less-than-glorious Dunningcolor) was a wholly different enterprise to the silent, black-and-white, cut-out animations on which he had cut his teeth.
Funded by wealthy film producer Archibald Nettlefold, Dyer was set up in a new West London studio to make British cartoons to take on Disney, including a series of animated Sam Small monologues by Stanley Holloway. The actual animation was undertaken by a range of hired hands, including Danes Jørgen Myller and Henning Dahl Mikkelsen – which helps explain the otherwise incongruous billboard advertisement for a Lemvig chimneysweep in the background of the bull ring scene. The enterprise was not a success and the studio went into voluntary liquidation in 1938, but it was far from the end of Dyer’s career, which stretched into the 1950s. Not bad for a man born in 1876!