This film is part of Free

Pipe Dreams

A once common object in many households becomes transformed into a quirky dancing troupe in this simple homespun animation.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1965 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is another whimsical film by Wakefield couple Doug and Norah Brear showing that, even with very limited resources, the average amateur filmmaker in the 1960s could still produce an inventive light hearted animation. Taking the most mundane of everyday objects, pipe cleaners – not so “everyday” any more – the Brears demonstrate that you don’t necessarily need hi-tech equipment to conjure up a delightful short animation.

Doug and Norah Brear were members of Wakefield Cine Club who made over 60 films between 1960 and 1985, many shown at film shows across Yorkshire by his friend and fellow filmmaker Roger Spence. Pipe smoking has declined drastically since the 1960s, when it was very common, especially among those who took a thoughtful approach to life. Harold Wilson, the then Prime Minister – named Pipe Smoker of the Year in the year that this film was made – was hardly ever seen in public without his pipe, buying him time to think through what he was about to say; perhaps exemplifying Albert Einstein’s reported remark that pipe smoking, "contributed to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs”.