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A Modern Guide to Health

Modern advice and old-fashioned values combine in this postwar animated health guide from the makers of Animal Farm

Animation & Artists Moving Image, 1946, 9 mins

This “modern” advice may be over 70 years old, but there is a lot of good common sense contained in this post-war health film. Roughly divided into sections on working men, children, young women and finally housewives, it’s this segregation that dates the film. The lot of married women is painted as particularly arduous, with the only help offered being a half-hour break before bed.

Many of the artists who worked on the film were women, including the co-director, writer and designer Joy Batchelor. At this stage the animators of Halas & Batchelor was almost all female, although most had left the company by the time it embarked on Animal Farm, Britain’s first animated feature film. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.