Lengthy, interesting animated film showing Britain's effort against enemy in First World War.
Titles read: 'Lancelot Speed Films. "Britain's Effort." Drawings by Lancelot Speed.'
Lengthy animated film showing Britain's effort against enemy in First World War.
View from behind Lancelot Speed, looking over his shoulder as he draws (speeded up footage) a caricature of Kaiser Wilhelm sharpening a knife on a grinding wheel. Lancelot moves out of shot, then in stop-action animation the picture starts to move. Kaiser sharpens knife while a globe of the world rolls by in 1914.
More animated pictures follow. Franz Josef of Austria and Kaiser Wilhelm stand beside a huge pile of bombs, bayonets and swords, blowing kisses to each other. Halos appear over their heads, that merge and become an airship which is added to the pile. Wilhelm looks through a telescope across the coast with a dachshund dog at his heels. Intertitle 'John Bull is fast asleep. Hoch! Hoch!'. Drawing of John Bull asleep on the beach below the white cliffs of Dover. Map of Europe with the heads of Kaiser and Franz appearing on a winged creature and grabbing Serbia. Live action footage of man dressed as Kaiser (seen from behind), reaching for Belgium on map and pointing to Germany. Young woman symbolising Belgium sits on a hillside. Winged Wilhelm appears, makes a grab for the girl and puts a chain on her arm. John Bull still asleep. Britannia woman / Bodicea appears and wakes him up with a prod of her sceptre. John Bull takes off jacket and walks off, fists raised. Britannia sounds bugle.
Stop action footage of globe with tiny model soldiers appearing in different parts of the British Empire. In Britain, country gentleman is joined by farmer, clerk, fisherman, miner, railway porter in answering call for enlistment. They all merge into one soldier, representing army in 1914. Overseas soldiers represented by Canadian soldier riding through forest on a moose (! that would have made the Hun tremble!), Australian riding through bush on kangaroo (!), South African with springbok / antelope, New Zealander with an emu, Indians riding through jungle on an elephant. They all merge. Several pictures of soldiers illustrate proportions of troops fighting in France. Tiny gun becomes an enormous one to show how arms increased between 1914 and 1917. Officer in trench giving order to fire.
Fashionable woman with a lap dog buying fabric in a shop. The dog becomes a shell and she becomes a munitions worker in a factory. A single white grain shows women war workers in 1914; becomes massive mound of grains which is formed into shape, then fades into drawing of woman munitions worker with hand to brow in 1917. She smiles. More animation showing increase in shells. Shells moving across map of Britain and into France while John Bull looks on; he is patted on shoulder by David Lloyd George. Ship at sea with searchlight. St Paul's Cathedral in silhouette. Pyramids in Egypt - scale is shown by superimposing St Paul's on top of a single pyramid. Medical and military supplies fill the space occupied by the pyramid. 1917 and the piles of supplies are growing. Shipbuilder in 1914 sits smoking a pipe. A man gives him a mallet. Single boat launched in 1914. Much larger ship launched in 1917.
German iron crosses surround map of India. Man's face in centre becomes a winking Wilhelm. John Bull and unidentified enemy (Wilhelm in tropical kit?) meet in sea near India and Bull pushes him back and around map of Africa. Enemy arrives back at Kiel (?). John Bull sits on 'Britain's Millions'. More money bags appears. Bull sends them off in ships in 1917. Globe of the world with coins spreading round it. Battered Kaiser with shells bursting round him. John Bull sits beside woman (Britannia?) sitting on gun turret holding olive branch which turns into flaming torch. Eagle on end of gun turret. Gun turns into industrial scene with car and machinery in foreground. Final shot of mother, daughter and father sitting at home with baby in cot, surrounded by laurel wreath. End.