Cat no. 226477

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Larry Allen (animator and inventor)


Larry Allen

Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Larry Allen first began producing animations as a boy by drawing directly onto pieces of film salvaged from nearby cinemas. He later relocated to Coventry where he worked as an engineer at the Hillman Humber car factory. He continued work on animations in his spare time, building his own rostrum camera and establishing the company Challenge Film Productions, which made animated publicity films. The studio was bombed during WWII, but Allen continued to produce films into the 1950s, particularly to promote ‘Fleur De Lys’ Pies, as well as working as a stills photographer and an inventor.

Allen discusses his childhood in Wales, his experiences during WWII and his career as an animator. His recollections are rather unfocussed, however, and few details relating to filmmaking practice are provided.

This interview has been edited.