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Snippy is an Artful Dodger (c.1925)


This short film, with animation by David Barker, features a young boy (Snooks) and a cartoon character named Snippy. Snooks is asleep in his garden, dreaming, when Snippy appears. Snooks chases him around the garden, but Snippy eludes capture.

Curator’s notes

This is a charming example of an early Australian cartoon from around 1925. Snippy is an Artful Dodger superimposes cell animation over freeze-frames of live action to create Snooks’s dream world. This simple technique was used by Yoram Gross in his Dot and the Kangaroo films made in the 1970s and 80s. A small segment in Snippy uses a rapid succession of still frames to create the appearance of movement as Snooks tries to catch Snippy on a children’s roundabout (see clip one).

An artist from Ballarat, David Barker was a cartoonist, illustrator, painter and etcher. He worked for the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia as a cartographer during the First World War, and exhibited his etchings and watercolours in New South Wales in the 1920s.