The cartoon that came in from the cold

Animal FarmYear Thirteen,

You may remember in the last week of the summer term we watched the 1955 cartoon version of  Animal Farm as part of your introduction to the Russian dicatorships course. What I did not realise at the time was that although a British film, it was paid for by the CIA. This article by Karl Cohen in The Guardian explains the remarkable story of how US intelligence secretly funded the landmark British movie. Animated propaganda was not of course new (it had been widely used in the Second World War), but what makes this noteworthy for me is that this was a huge box office success and critically acclaimed.

This certains helps to explain the diversion from the Orwell book. In terms of the chronology of our course, we should refelct that it would have been made when Stalin was still alive, when the Korean War was still raging, and before Khrushchev started to speak of peaceful co-existance.

Maybe it is worth rewatching it with this iinformation in our heads.

Mr Kydd.

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