This film is part of Free


Ye Gods! It’s the future of telecommunications – as seen through a cartoon modern lens from the 1950s

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1957 10 mins


Let there be telecommunications! The Gods look down on humanity’s conquest of the airwaves with mixed feelings, but at least they get to watch telly. The Phillips Company was the sponsor of many innovative animated promotional films dating back into the 1930s, and this is one of the best. It received a second lease of life as one of the BBC’s trade test colour films, broadcast outside of programming hours on BBC 2 so shops and engineers could use the signal.

UPA co-founder David Hilberman had been brought across the Atlantic to set-up Pearl & Dean’s in-house animation studio. Although he was long gone by the time this film was released the talent he recruited reveals much of the “cartoon modern” design that was popular at the time. Credit should also be given to Vera Linnecar and Nancy Hanna’s storyboard that sets the look of the film.