‘New Town’ is an entry in a Central Office of Information-sponsored animated series featuring the everyman character Charley, and promotes an escape from grimy, smoggy towns and arduous commutes to work. With the highly distinctive animation style of husband-and-wife team Halas and Batchelor, this short aims to explain the rationale behind the planning of the new towns, with their enticing offer of green open spaces and a type of housing to suit everyone.
Building skywards – Manhattan-style – is quickly ruled out for us Brits; "Don’t be silly, I’d never get me pram up there" pipes up a member of the unseen chorus of unhappy city-dwellers. But considering the urban sprawl now devouring the south-east of England, perhaps skyscrapers were the way to go after all. (Simon McCallum)
Charley Junior’s Schooldays was the seventh in a series of eight public information films designed to convey key facts about the Labour government’s social reforms in the immediate postwar period. Here, animation company Halas & Batchelor‘s trademark fusion of clarity of expression and humour is the vehicle for some quite dense information about the proposed radical reforms to the British schools system. The changes were first conceived in the Education Act 1944, devised by Conservative education minister Rab Butler.
Both movies found on BritishFilmInstitute’s Youtube pages