SUMMARY: The rise and fall of the British Empire is examined through the symbolic actions of a giant bulldog.
WHY IT’S HERE: British animator Joanna Quinn’s ‘Britannia’ is a superb examination of Britain’s shameful imperialistic past, something which sadly many Brits still see as a source of pride. The symbolism of the giant bulldog as he plays with the globe like a ball is simple but effective and the sketchy look of the animation is perfect, allowing the bulldog to shapeshift fluidly into various British archetypes. The expressiveness of the dog character recalls the incredibly emotive expressions Chuck Jones achieved with his characters and the bulldog is both hilarious and frightening by turns, although his eventual fate extinguishes the latter completely. In just under five minutes, Quinn has presented on of the most resonant depictions of British imperialism ever put on film.