The Animation Academy CollectionABAC logo

The Animation Academy is a co-partner with the National Media Museum in Bradford, the British Film Institute, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in the Association of British Animation Collections (ABAC).

This initiative is seeking to operate as an umbrella organisation to co-ordinate information and policy about the preservation, conservation and promotion of British animation collections for the purposes of research and exhibition, and the advancement of the British animation legacy and cultural heritage.

The Animation Academy Collection includes materials and artwork from:

  • Animation People
  • Halas & Batchelor
  • Hot Animation
  • Silver Fox / Hibbert Ralph
  • Triffic Films
  • Right Angle Productions
  • Wilf Irwin Rostrum Cameras

Productions represented include The First Snows of Winter, The Forgotten Toys, William’s Wish Wellingtons, 2DTV,
I Am Not An Animal, Bob the Builder, Pingu, Fireman Sam, The Canterbury Tales, Animated World Faiths plus numerous commercials and interstitials.


The Association of British Animation Collections (ABAC) is led by four core partners, the National Media Museum in Bradford (NMM), the Animation Academy at Loughborough University (AA), the British Film Institute (BFI), and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and was launched in February 2010. It is an ‘umbrella’ group seeking to co-ordinate a strategic approach, across a range of organisations, for the archiving of British Animation production materials, artefacts and documentation, and for the promotion and recognition of British Animation films as a distinctive artistic and cultural form of expression.

The organisation believes that the worldwide and sustained success of British Animation, and its long history of production, beginning with what is possibly the world’s first 3D stop motion animated film, Arthur Melbourne-Cooper’s ‘Matches Appeal’ (1899), has been undervalued as a model of British achievement. Further, it has not been fully appreciated for its credentials as a form that speaks directly to national experience and cultural heritage. ABAC is seeking to remedy this by co-ordinating knowledge about known and extant collections; developing collections, (especially materials currently at risk); and developing a strategy and policy in the preservation, conservation and use of such material for the purposes of research access, exhibition, etc.

Recently, the urgency of the project has become pronounced, as the economic situation has forced the closure of British studios with long history, and they have had to throw away many highly valuable materials. Equally, strategic changes in production processes have also led to work being disposed of, and sadly, senior figures who have worked in the industry for over 60 years, are also experiencing ill-health and decline, which may lead to the possible loss of their personal collections.

ABAC has been pro-active however, in trying to save these materials, recently collecting more than 200 boxes of animation pre-production papers and physical materials to bring to the Animation Academy Collection.

Professor Paul Wells has been speaking about Archive related matters and collections since 2006:
Halas & Batchelor Cartoons : An Animated History (Book launch, introductory lecture, screenings)
[The Barbican, London, July 2006]

Animation Archives : Developing a Strategy
[Netherlands Institute for Animation Film,Tilburg, September 2006]

Halas & Batchelor Cartoons : A Retrospective (with Vivien Halas)]
[Bradford Animation Festival, National Museum of Media, Bradford, November 2006]
Animated Realities

Animation Archives : A Collaborative Initiative (with Mette Peters [NIAF])
[First Amsterdam Filmseminar : The Future of Avant Garde Films : Preservation and Presentation, Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, April 2007]

Halas & Batchelor Cartoons : An Animated Legacy
[Presentation and Exhibition : Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia, June 2007]
Paul Wells, Vivien Halas

Researching Animation Archives [Co-Paper with Mette Peters, Netherlands Institute for Animation Film]
[Keynote : Freeze Frame : Animation Archives Symposium, National Media Museum, Bradford, Nov 2007]

Curator of Best of the Animation Academy at LUSAD and Best of the Bradford Animation Festival film programmes
[48th International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Film Festival Zlin, Czech Republic, June 2008]
Zlin 1   Zlin 2

Research Models in Animation : From Archives to Animex [Digital City Research Seminar Series, University of Teesside, Sept 2008]
Workshop : Teaching Animation History in a Cinema Studies World – the role of Archives
[21st Annual Society of Animation Studies Conference, Persistence of Animation,
Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta, USA, July 2009]

Unfolding the Frame : Looking Back to Look Forward in Animated Cinema [Invited Speaker, Rbycznski : The Future of Film and Animation Symposium, 16th Etuida & Anima International Film Festival, Kracow, Poland, Nov 2009]

National Launch of ABAC [Association of British Animation Collections] BAFTA. London, 2010.
ABAC launch

Industrial Animation : Boring Information or Communication Art? [Keynote : Re-Evaluating Industrial Animation Conference, Volda University College & Vestnorsk Filmsenter, Volda, Norway, Sept 2010]

Industrial Film : The Lost Art of Animation [Invited Lecture, Hogskolan Vast, Trollhatan, Sweden, Dec 2010]

The Industrial Film : The Lost Art of Animation [Invited Lecture, Offshore Media Workshop, Norweigian Petroleum Museum, Stavanger, Norway, December 2010]

Heritage and the Role of Art in Contemporary Society Panel Discussion with Steve Bell, Malcolm Dick and Tom Freshwater [Invited Participant, The Lunar Society Talks, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, March 2011]

Never Mind the Bollackers : Repositories, Sites, and Archives in Animated Non-Fiction [Keynote : Animated Realities Conference, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, June 2011] [PICs ATTACHED – programme and presentation]
Never mind

Looking Back to Look Forward; The role and function of Animation Archives in Britain [Keynote : Animation Explosion 2011, A Multidisciplinary and Multimedia Conference, Society of Animation Studies and Animation Forum, West Midlands, Birmingham City University, Sept 2011]

Curated Animated Britain: Selections from Collections, a programme of films representing the work of the Association of British Animation Collections (ABAC) + introductory lecture, Bradford Animation Festival, National Media Museum, Bradford, Nov 2011.

Consultancy for The Lost Chaplin (Independent) C4: Zepped at Animation Academy – You Tube Jan 2012

Co-curated A Centenary Tribute to Chuck Jones 1912-2002 Part One, a programme of 18 Chuck Jones cartoons. In association with the Chuck Jones Centre for Creativity. April 2012

Curated British Puppet Animation: A Long Tradition: Lecture / Programme of Screenings, including 'Landmarks in British Puppet Animation', 'Animation for Children' and 'Contemporary 3D Puppet Animation 2000-2010', Anifest International Festival of Animation, Teplice, Czech Republic, May 2012

British Puppet Animation: A Long Tradition: Lecture / Programme of Screenings [Invited Speaker: Anifest International Festival of Animation, Teplice, Czech Republic, May 2012]

An Animated Utopia: The Life and Achievement of John Halas 1912-1995 – Film Preview, Lecture introduction and panel discussion with Vivien Halas, Jez Stewert (BFI) and Andy Wyatt (University College Falmouth)
[Invited Event, The Barbican Centre, London, May 2012]


    Publishing   ABAC   Activities   Showreel    
        Site maintained by A. Chong