British Animation

British Animation

The Channel 4 Factor
Clare Kitson, Foreword by Peter Lord. Clare Kitson
Distribution: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvado
Publication date: 02/20/2009
Format: Paperback 100 color illus., 100 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22096-7
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Clare Kitson celebrates one of the most creative sources of broadcast animation—Britain's pioneering Channel 4, winner of three Academy Awards for animation. In the 1980s and 1990s, Channel 4 flourished as a world champion of televised animation. The channel regularly showcased both British and international works, set up the Animate initiative with the Arts Council of England, and backed the animator-in-residence program hosted by the British Film Institute's Museum of the Moving Image. It commissioned innovative, challenging, left-of-center short films by artists such as the Brothers Quay and Ruth Lingford. Kitson, who served as Channel 4's commissioning editor from 1989 until 1999, helped foster the channel's growing reputation as a broadcasting powerhouse. In British Animation she takes a fond look back at this exceptional era.

Author Bio

Clare Kitson is a former programmer for the National Film Theatre and for Channel 4 in London. She is author of Yuri Norstein and Tale of Tales: An Animator's Journey (2005; distributed by IUP). She lives in London, England.


“A highly readable and informative insider account . . . This book could only have been written by this writer.”
 — Ruth Lingford, Harvard University

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Table of Contents


1. Animation and TV
2. Before C4
3. The new channel
4. Uncharted territory
5. Animation gains a foothold
6. Four-Mations
7. Missionary zeal…
8. … And pragmatism

Some key works 1982 to 2006:
The Snowman
The Victor
When the Wind Blows
Street of Crocodiles
The Black Dog
Girls Night Out
Feet of Song
Lip Synch: War Story
Lip Synch:Creature Comforts
Deadtime Stories for Big Folk: Deadsy and Door
Secret Joy of Falling Angels
A Is for Autism
Screen Play
The Mill
Bob's Birthday
The Sound of Music
The Village
Crapston Villas
Many Happy Returns
Pond Life
Death and the Mother
The Man with the Beautiful Eyes
Home Road Movies
City Paradise
Peter and the Wolf

9. Changing contexts
10. Animation on the slide
11. Young blood
12. A future?