The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

David Williams

Going to The Dogs

ough the Jerry the Troublesome Tyke animations were extant in the Pathé Pictorial holdings, no one had realized their significance until they were virtually rediscovered in 1992, and only Denis Gifford refers to them without having seen any. There was a special section of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival devoted to them in 2002 with a biographical presentation by David Berry on their Welsh creator, Sid Griffith. All of the cartoons are downloadable on the Pathé web site and it is the purpose of this paper as a DVD to look at the innovations and homages contained within them. It is extraordinary, though possibly predictable, that with silent screen animation saturated by cats, English animators should turn to dogs for inspiration. The enterprise of three talented men deserves wide acclaim and analysis. With minimal equipment and limited experience, Sid Griffith’s results are indeed remarkable. He creates a character of mischievous charm with a durability of style and story that remained constant throughout the 40 cartoons in the series. Diolch yn fawr, Sid.

Biographical statement: My abiding interest is the historical siting of film and film animation. To this end, I have researched British sources, Disney sources and the work of Lotte Reiniger, and organised important Exhibitions on these topics. I am especially interested in the historical techniques of animation and, as a practical animation teacher, I believed that this knowledge transmitted to students gave them a better understanding of the scope, artistry and significance of the medium. I am, of course, retired and my affiliation to an institution in a teaching capacity ceased three years ago at Teesside University.