John Halas

Forename/s: 
John
Family name: 
Halas
Awards and Honours: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
152
Interview Date(s): 
18 Jul 1990
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
90
Access restrictions: 

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Interview
Biographical

John Halas (born János Halász; 16 April 1912 – 21 January 1995) was a pioneering Hungarian-Jewish emigre who became the father of British Animation. He was educated in Budapest and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. After art school he worked with the Hungarian-born director and special-effects expert George Pal.  He moved to London in 1936 and while working on "Music Man" he met Joy Batchelor, who was already a film animator.They married, and in 1940 they founded Halas and Batchelor Animation  which became the largest cartoon film studio in the UK. They experimented with 3-D graphics , computer animation and  holography.  They  used animation in the service of high art, making the Poet and Painter series for the 1951 Festival of Britain and such experiments as The Owl and the Pussycat (1952), a 3D stereoscopic short based on Edward Lear's nonsense poem. However they directed and co-produced their greatest work in 1954 the  adaptation of George Orwell's " Animal Farm." the first British full length colour cartoon feature film.