BFI makes a number of child-friendly films available for free on BFI Player
The BFI have announced a new collection of films that are suitable for children are now available for free on BFI Player - and there are some formative films in early cinema here that cannot fail to kickstart your children's interest in film.
Films for Five and Under is available right now and includes the very first adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that was filmed in 1903, the 1897 film from George Albert Smith - X Rays - and the 1981 animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's whimsical How The Whale Got His Throat.
Collection highlights include:
X Rays (1897)
The earliest film in the collection, made by the Hove-based film pioneer George Albert Smith pokes fun at the new science of x-ray photography in this humorous ‘trick’ film proving that love is more than skin deep, as a courting couple get intimate in front of an X-ray camera.
Deonzo Brothers (1901)
Don’t try this at home. The fabulous Deonzo Brothers star in a spectacular barrel-jumping stage act.
Alice in Wonderland (1903)
Based on Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations, this first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale restored by the BFI was made just 37 years after the novel’s publication and eight years after the birth of cinema.
A Colour Box (1935)
Rarely has a film exploded onto cinema screens with such a joyful splash of colour and rhythm. Made as a commercial for the General Post Office, New Zealand born Len Lye painted directly onto the film strip, synchronising his dynamic shapes and squiggles with an upbeat rumba track to pack a punch with this classic abstract animation.
Molar Mischief (1946)
Look out, germs at work! These loveable molar mischief making puppets really dig tooth decay in this wacky post-war advert for Solidox toothpaste.
A Bedtime Story (1959) (Yorkshire Film Archive)
A little girl reads her favourite dolls a bedtime story that miraculously comes to life in this heart-warming stop-motion animation/live action film made by amateur filmmaker A.R.Smith.
That Noise (1961)
Bob Godfrey was the lo-fi artisan behind some of Britain’s best comic animation, including Roobarb (1974). Bruce Lacey was an eccentric genius performance artist long with an expressive face born to be turned into a cartoon. Anthony Newly was an innovative actor and songwriter with a gift for quirkily combining his skills, the resulting comic proto-music video is a perfect storm of nonsense in a teacup.
Bunty the Bouncing Bassoon (1963)
Enter the Merry Music Shop, but be warned you might be singing when you leave with Bunty the Bouncing Bassoon in this playful and infectious animation.
Echo: Some Reflections (1972) (Screen & Sound Archive, National Library of Wales)
Glynn Williams explores the properties of reflection in this amusing animation featuring a toy train set.
Osibisa Musical Group (1980) (The Box, Plymouth)
The Ghanaian led Afro-Caribbean band, Osibisa, spreads infectious world music rhythms at Plymouth’s Frankfort Gate. Originally founded in 1969, Osibisa reformed in 1996 and they continue to perform and produce music today.
Outing to Belfast Zoo (1981) (Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive)
Delightful home movie, bursting with the joys of childhood, capturing a day out to Belfast Zoo. The zoo opened in 1934 is now part of a breeding program for endangered species and a ‘retirement home’ for elderly elephants.
How The Whale Got His Throat (1981) (North East Film Archive)
Travel into the belly of the whale fable with this beautiful and comic animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s whimsical tale, as part of Sheila Graber’s Just So Stories series, commissioned by Nicole Jouve of Interama (The Magic Roundabout), first broadcast on French TV in 1983.