IWM Film website upgrade: self-selection and authorised download of HD clips. More info
By continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings,
and for us to access our cookies on your device.
Summary: Animated cartoon ridiculing the Kaiser and German threats to invade Britain, 1917.
Description: The cartoonist draws the figures of the Kaiser "Bill" and the Crown Prince "Billie". They play with a U-boat in a water bowl until a cargo ship marked "NOOTRAL" ('neutral' in US pronunciation) blocks it. They agree the policy has failed, and consult their astrologer Hindenburg. In his crystal ball they see an image of Admirals Jellicoe and Beatty, and First Lord of the Admiralty Arthur Balfour, blocking an invasion of Britain by sea, and Zeppelins being shot down. Hindenburg decides on an underground tunnel from Berlin to Birmingham and a scientist builds boring machines to make it. Led by the Kaiser and Crown Prince the invasion force sets off but the Iron Crosses the Kaiser has issued to them all affect the compass and the force emerges at the North Pole. Water flooding in washes all but one of the machines back to Berlin. German newspapers announce that Birmingham, London and Liverpool have been destroyed by the raid. The Kaiser and Crown Prince are left stuck "up the pole".
Production Details: Speed Cartoons (Production company)
Speed, Lancelot (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Keywords: propaganda, British - inflammatory: [+] (object name)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: English
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 678 ft; Running time: 12 mins
Notes: Remarks: the cartoon has a large number of puns and gags based on contemporary catch-phrases and wartime slang. The role of the Kaiser and Crown Prince in British 'hate' propaganda is well illustrated by this film. The Crown Prince speaks and acts like the conventional English 'silly young man' of comedy rather than like a German. The Germans found no equivalent figure among the Allies against whom to direct their own propaganda, except possibly Lloyd George and Lord Northcliffe in 1918