Pan-tele-tron (1957)

10 min; United Kingdom

produced by Philips and Pearl & Dean; directed by Digby Turpin

Won the 1958 BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film

This is an animated marketing short produced by the electronics conglomerate Philips, which tells the story (in a distinctive modern design style) of the development of the telecommunications industry. It begins back in ancient times when only Zeus could communicate over long distances, and both Zeus and Hermes make regular appearances throughout the film, watching approvingly as humans invent different mechanisms and technologies for transmitting messages: the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, the television, RADAR, and finally, satellites. The short concludes by noting that we have now “caught up with the gods” and ends with a nod to the company that has made much of this possible, Philips.

The Grasshopper and the Ant [La Cicala e La Formica] (c. 1954-56)

6 min; Italian, no subtitles

This short animated film is preserved in the historic archives of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo. This interpretation of Aesop’s classic fable was produced by the Association of Italian Savings Banks (Associazione fra le Casse di Risparmio Italiane) and served as a kind of “public service announcement” to promote the idea of saving and budgeting to the Italian people.

In this modernized re-telling, the anthropomorphized insects work industrialized agricultural jobs and sell their goods at market, then deposit their earnings in the bank. Meanwhile, the grasshopper parties at a nightclub. In the end he is unable to buy Christmas gifts for his family and is left out in the cold.

Start a Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑