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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

     Habatales from Halas & Batchelor

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Habatales    (1959 - 1960)
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producers: Halas & Batchelor for A.B.C.
   animation: cel animation
6 x 6mins


The foibles and follies of human nature are explored here in six short tales from
    Halas & Batchelor
. Thus we have the tale of "The Insolent Matador" in which
    the canniving bullfighter Gomez is unmasked as a cad who only fights
    short-sighted bulls...

    The best known film here, "The Cultured Ape", features a highly-educated and
    sophisticated primate musing on the failings of our modern culture. The film won
    1st Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

    Unlike other toons at the time, this early A.B.C.commission was aimed at a
    more mature audience. The series takes its name from the production company, 
    of course, and from the innovative animation technique employed, because the
    film makers used the self-titled HABA Cellgraph system. This was a time-saving
    and cost-cutting method of drawing directly on to cels, rather than tracing from
    line drawings (although, the ARC reveals that the films were still tightly
    storyboarded and segmented).

    The same technique was also used to produce Foo Foo...
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    Those Habatales...

The Insolent Matador
    The tale of a bullfighter, who will only fight short-sighted bulls.

   The Cultured Ape
    A sophisticated ape is disillusioned by modern culture.

   The Lion Tamer
    Who is more scared, the lion tamer or the lion he tames?

   Hairy Hercules
    A wrestler has a hidden weakness

   I Wanna Mink
    What happens when a henpecked husband caves in to his demanding wife?

   The Widow and the Pig

    A widow has to sell her beloved pig.

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    1959 Venice Film Festival - 1st Prize - "The Cultured Ape"

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     Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films

     direction:       John Halas, Harold Whitaker, Tony Guy
     producer:       John Halas
     script:            Mike Cole, Alan Smith
     design:          Alan Smith
     music:           Matyas Seiber
     editor:           Jack King
     sound:           Jack King
     animation:     Harold Whitaker,
John Smith
     narration:      Warren Michell (The Widow and the Pig)
                          Sam Wanamaker (I Wanna Mink)

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      On the web

      Halas & Batchelor
      The official site with info on their magnificent catalogue, details of the
      studio history, awards, availability and clips to view too...
      Animation Research Centre
      The Surrey-based centre have an extensive Halas & Batchelor
      collection, with lots of info online...

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© Halas & Batchelor / F2009