Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Show and Tell: Short Vision (1956)
Introduction Music History Film & Media Studies English  
Films and Media Studies
image from Short Vision (1956)

This film does contain some graphic imagery, so teachers are advised to watch it before using it in class.

A Short Vision has gained notoriety for its shocking imagery of nuclear destruction, but it could be argued that it is, among other things, the simple and often painterly style of the animation and editing that makes the final graphic sequences of the film so horrifying.

Why not start by looking at the choices made by the animator in terms of composition, colour, camera and setting. Students need to think about the use of close-ups and the movement between exterior and interior settings in particular as well as explore the repetitive imagery and symbolism that permeates the film.

A Short Vision could also be used as the basis for a more detailed look at different animation styles. You might want students to concentrate on the films made with support from the BFI production board, which funded approximately thirty animations between the mid-1950s and 1990s, including the work of many key animators (The BFI and Animation collection) This includes examples of 'avant-garde' animation as well as more playful films which all employ a range of different techniques and tackle a broad variety of subjects.

Alternatively, this film might be a way in to interrogating the idea of animation as a genre. Screenonline contains many examples of films that test the limits of any simple definition of 'animation', including the 'animated documentary' A is for Autism (1992) and Soho Square (1992). If you are feeling up to it, this could be expanded into a broader debate about the advantages and limitations of defining films by genre!

Next Page >