This clip begins with the Cartoons of the Moment title card featuring a kangaroo and lion. Cartoonist Harry Julius is shown sketching at his notepad against an ocean background. A headline from the Berlin Lokal Anzeiger newspaper reads ‘Germany is willing to offer peace terms but the Allies keep attacking’. This is followed by the hand of the artist drawing Kaiser Wilhelm II holding tightly onto toys labelled with the names of European countries. The accompanying caption indicates he doesn’t want to give them back.
Summary by Poppy de Souza
By representing the countries that Germany has invaded as Christmas presents, Julius cleverly distils a complex political situation into a single image. Captions are used to introduce the context and then make comment on the illustration. This has the effect of increasing its impact.
This edition of Cartoons of the Moment by cartoonist Harry Julius appeared in the Australasian Gazette, providing satirical comment on events in Australia and Europe during the First World War.
Australian cartoonist Harry Julius’s sketches use caricature and satire to comment on the social, political and economic impact of the First World War. Like many political cartoonists, Julius drew his inspiration from newspaper reports and then distilled the information into short, sharp animated cartoons. He is often shown reading a newspaper at the beginning of Cartoons of the Moment, before embarking on a sketch at his desk.
Julius drew for Australian newspapers and magazines including The Bulletin. He was the first artist in Australia to animate cartoons for films. This wartime series was probably the first example of locally-produced animated cartoons being screened on a weekly basis to Australian audiences.
Notes by Poppy de Souza