charley in new town (1948) via erin
‘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)