This film is part of Rentals

Men of Merit (a Lantern Lecture)

Vibrant, progressive animation contrasts with some outdated attitudes in this Electricity Council cartoon on energy usage

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1948 4 mins Not rated


How dare housewives use heating and lighting in peak hours? That’s the bottom line of this Electricity Council cartoon, although it is dressed up in a mini-history of scientific advance. Visually however, the film is ahead of its time – Nancy Hanna’s remarkable drawings are the epitome of modern cartooning, coloured with highlighter pen luminescence.

The stop-motion professor draws on art director Peter Sachs’ time in the Dutch “Dollywood” studio of George Pal. The lecture dialogue was typical of the collaborations between the Larkins Studio and Roger MacDougall, a cousin of Ealing director Alexander Mackendrick. Few writers would have the nerve to rhyme “ox” with “walks”, but with the aid of narrator Geoffrey Sumner it somehow works.