Animal Magic (1970)

Concept and creative process

‘Animal Magic’ was a popular fortnightly children's natural history programme which was made by the Natural History Unit in Bristol. It was presented by Johnny Morris, who provided voices for the animals and made them talk. The show’s first venture into colour for the 1970 titles saw an experimental approach to hand animation, using wool and scraps of coloured paper to create a collage of a lion, and the programme title out of paper letters. This sequence was shot in reverse on a rostrum camera, then the camera was run at speed and the whole set up was blown away in real time with a hairdryer. This technique was repeated several times with different animal species ending with a collaged Bactrian camel and the programme title.