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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Animated News: Joy Batchelor - 'A Moving Image'

On April 7th, Cartoon Brew published an article about the Barbicon art centre's event focusing on the career of Joy Batchelor that happens on Sunday, April 13th as part of the Bird's Eye Festival.

Now most of us who live across the pond will miss out on this celebration of the woman who co-founded one of the largest animation studios in Great Britain (Halas and Batchelor). But fortunately, a new book about Joy Batchelor will be published on May 15th, 2014 titled: "A Moving Image: Joy Batchelor 1914-1991: Artist, Writer and Animator".

While attendees of this event will have the opportunity to purchase advance copies, the rest of us will have to wait until after May 15th to get ours. Currently, Amazon UK is accepting pre-orders and it appears that Amazon US may be taking pre-orders after April 17th, if I'm reading their website correctly.

Co-authored by Vivian Halas (Joy and John's daughter), this book clocks in at 100 pages and is priced at a very reasonable 20 pounds (approximately $33.50 USD), the book can be pre-ordered via the following links: Amazon UK or Amazon US.

The description of this book on the Amazon UK website is as follows:

"Joy Batchelor, Britain's most important woman in animation history, this celebrates her work, her life and her legacy. Her forty year career as first an animator, then, writer, producer, director and joint creative head at what was one of the biggest animation studios in Western Europe, has never been matched. Joy Batchelor was also a teacher and an internationally recognised authority on the global animation scene.

'Halas and Batchelor gave us all the lead. In our early days at Aardman we could only dream of aspiring to their stature. In their heyday, the studio was renowned for innovation and creative ambition, always experimenting with technique, form and style. At the heart of the company, Joy Batchelor's writing, direction and design, especially on Animal Farm, has earned her status as one of the true pioneers of British animation.' - Peter Lord Aardman Animation

'Joy Batchelor was one half of the celebrated/famous animation studio, Halas and Batchelor, responsible for over forty years of ground breaking animated films, including the first British cartoon feature, Animal Farm. This is the story of the life and work of one of animation's unsung heroines.' - Brian Sibley Author, broadcaster and film critic."

So keep your eyes open for this one and check the Amazon US link on (or after) April 17th unless you don't mind paying for the overseas shipping.

Additionally, "Halas & Batchelor Cartoons: An Animated History" also co-authored by Vivian Halas is still available on Amazon (both UK and US).

And lastly, Skwigly Online Magazine has an interview with Vivian Halas in their latest podcast where she discusses the history of the Halas & Batchelor animation studio. The podcast (#20 released on 3/31/2014) is accessible via iTunes or on their website. The Halas & Batchelor section starts around the 1:41:38 mark.

So if you're interested in the history of UK animation and specifically that of this very talented woman animator and businesswoman, consider adding the two books listed above to your collection.

Special thanks to Neil Emmett of Cartoon Brew for bringing this book to my attention.