Roger Mainwood – filmography

Roger Mainwood_March 2010

The Cage – 1976 (made while at the Royal College of Art and distributed by the British Council)

The Cage_1976

Autobahn (Kraftwerk) (13 minute short) 1979 – Director/designer/animator

Skwigly article about Autobahn.


First Steps (Educational short) 1981 – Writer/Director/Animator – narrated by Judi Dench. Made for the Educational Film Centre, produced by John Halas. Consultants the National Childbirth trust.

Heavy Metal (Feature Film) 1981 – animator (segments “Grimaldi”, “So Beautiful and So Dangerous”)

Players (short) 1982 – Animator. For the Halas and Batchelor studio.

The Snowman (TV special) 1982 – animator. Made at the TVCartoons studio. Producer John Coates.

My animation was for the opening to the film, from when the boy wakes up and builds the snowman to when he goes back inside the house.  A ‘making of ‘ documentary was made in 2002.

The Snowman was nominated for an Oscar Best Short Film, Animated. It won a BAFTA for Best Children’s Programme (Entertainment/Drama).

Growing Up – a guide to puberty (Educational Short) 1984 – Writer/Director/Animator. Made for the Educational Film Centre, produced by John Halas.
Released by Bounty Health Network. (2002)  Hoylake: Uniview Worldwide Ltd,
Running time: 12.5 min. Suitable for young people aged 8-12

When the Wind Blows (Feature Film) 1986 – animator

Barney (TV series) 1988 – animator on Barney’s Christmas Surprise. 

Granpa (TV special) 1988 – animator on the final section of the film. Granpa won the Prix Jeunesse International award for excellence in children’s television programming in 1990.

Father Christmas (TV special) 1989 – animator

The Tale of Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddle-Duck 1993 – animator/storyobaod

The Tailor of Gloucester 1993 – (30 minute TV) – animation director – with the voice of Ian Holm

The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town Mouse (30 minute TV) 1993 – director – with the voices of Hugh Laurie, Alan Bennett, Felicity Kendal, and Rik Mayall. This was the first time I had directed a half hour piece of animation. Re released  on DVD by the BBC in 2008 as The Beatrix Potter Collection.

The Wind in the Willows (TV movie – 1hr 13mins) – animation director. TVCartoon’s film was first broadcast on Christmas Day 1995. It won the Special Jury Prize at the Rockie Awards.

The Willows in Winter (TV Movie 1hr 13mins) 1996 – animation director. The flying sequence, at 21mins 40 secs, was one of the sections of the film where I did the animation direction.

The Bear (TV special) 1996 – animator

Oi Get Off Our Train (TV Special) 1998 – animator

The Canterbury Tales – The Nun’s Priest – (TV) 1999 – animator

Stressed Eric –  (TV series – 30 mins each) 2000 – episode director on Team, Bursting, and Drool.

War Game (TV special) 2001- animator

Mill Times ( PBS TV special) 2001 – animation director

Metalheads (TV series) 2002 – character design

Something Else (TV series) 2003 – storyboard

Tractor Tom (TV series) 2003 – storyboard

Meg and Mog (TV series ) 2003 – 2004 – series director (52 x 5 minute episodes) – with the voices of Fay Ripley, Alan Bennet, Phil Cornwell.

Little Princess (TV series) 2004 – 2007 – series animation director (100 x 10 minute episodes).

Kit Kat – Father Christmas (TV ad) 2007 – director – with the voice of Mel Smith as Father Christmas and Richard Briers doing the end “Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat” line.

Sunbeam (TV ad) – animator/storyboard

Boots – Tahiti (TV ad) – animator/storyboard

Frucht Bomb (TV ad) – animator/storyboard – made for Two Rivers Films.

Mike the Knight (3D pre-school TV series for HIT.) 2011 – 2014, storyboarding on many episodes including ‘The Fluttering Favour’ below.

The Snowman and the Snowdog (TV special made by Lupus Films Ltd) 2012 – animator/storyboard and layout. Awards.

‘The Snowman and The Snowdog animator revisits classic’ – BBC article.

Ethel and Ernest (feature film made by Lupus Films Ltd) 2016 – director.


Roger Mainwood – animated films.

Roger Mainwood 2

I started work in the animation industry at Halas and Batchelor studios in 1979. My first professional short was a music video to Kraftwerk’s Autobahn.

A BFI post on the Halas and Batchelor studio.

Autobahn is a 13-minute trip into a psychedelic, krautrock headspace commissioned by the record company of the band Kraftwerk. Fresh out of the Royal College of Art, animator Roger Mainwood was given a long leash to produce his own response to the music (he never met or discussed visuals with the group) and produced a stunning marriage of images and music. Seeing this film on the big screen with the volume really pumping is one of my fondest cinema memories.” – Jez Stewart, curator at the BFI National Archive, responsible for the animation collection.

More on Autobahn here.

Autobahn is know to a whole generation of Irish people because it was used as an interstitial ( a filler between programmes) in the 1980s. Radio Telefís Éireann in the Republic of Ireland used a variety of material as interstitials; often animation, including Roger Mainwood’s video of Kraftwerk’s hit “Autobahn”

After Halas and Batchelor I worked briefly for the Richard Williams Animation studio which was then in Soho Square , London. One of the commercials I animated was for the laxative Metamucil, which had a voice over by John Hurt.

I then worked a lot for producer John Coates and his TVC studio. I was privileged to animate on most of the studio’s classic animations, starting with Raymond Briggs’ BAFTA winning The Snowman, and going onto When the Wind Blows, Father Christmas, Granpa and Oi Get Off Our Train. The two latter films were adaptations of books by John Burningham.

I was animation director for TVC on Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, and the feature length TV specials Wind in the Willows, and Willows in Winter. I then directed my first half hour special for TVC. This was The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town Mouse, another in the Beatrix Potter series broadcast on the BBC. It featured the voice talents of Hugh Laurie, Alan Bennett, Felicity Kendal, and Rik Mayall.

During this time I also worked on a number of commercials, TV titles, and TV series for Hibbert-Ralph Animation, The Animation Partnership, Two Rivers Films, and  Stuart Brooks Animation. Two of the commercials I worked on are shown here. And a Kit Kat ad that I directed is shown here.

From 2003 to 2004 I was series director on Meg and Mog (52×5 minute pre-school for CITV). This series was made by Absolutely Productions.

Meg and Mog DVD front covers
The front covers of the two DVDs that were made from the series

From 2005 to 2009 I was animation director on the pre-school show Little Princess, for Channel FIVE. Made by Illuminated Films.

Both Meg and Mog and Little Princess were nominated for Children’s BAFTAs.

I was also an animation director on three half hour episodes of the adult TV series Stressed Eric for the BBC (Absolutely Productions). The complete series has now been released on DVD.

Nov 2011 – Aug 2012 – ‘The Snowman and the Snow Dog’ at Lupus Films, as animator, storyboard and layout artist. The half hour TV special was watched by 11 million viewers on Channel 4 in the year of its release.

2012 – 2014 – storyboarding on HIT/Nelvana’s 3D pre-school show Mike the Knight. The show won an International Emmy Kids Award in 2015.

2014 – 2016 – Directed feature film ‘Ethel and Ernest’ based on Raymond Briggs’ book about his parents.
Featuring the voice talents of Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn, and Luke Treadaway in the lead roles. The film is produced by Camilla Deakin and  Lupus Films Ltd. and it has a 2016 cinema release date.

Ethel and Ernest publicity still

Working at the TVCartoons studio

Some of my best years in animation were spent working for the London based TVCartoons studio. It was a great pleasure to work with some of the big names of British animation, such as John Coates (responsible for producing The Yellow Submarine and The Snowman),  Jimmy Mirukami (director on When the Wind Blows) , Dianne Jackson (director on The Snowman) , Dave Unwin (director on Father Christmas) and director Jack Stokes.

John Coates give a speech in Annecy 2007_Jack Stokes looking on
John Coates giving a speech at the 50th anniversary celebrations for TVCartoons, at the Annecy animated film festival in 2007

Jack and I worked closely together on The Tailor of Gloucester, one of the Beatrix Potter half hours that were made for the BBC.  Jack died in 2013 at the grand old age of 92, and I had the opportunity to put down some thoughts about our time together in an  obituary that I wrote for The Guardian newspaper. Here it is:-

Jack Stokes
Jack Stokes at Annecy in 2007.
TVC_Tailor of Gloucester
At TVCartoons during the making of the Tailor of Gloucester, with Claire Jennings and Ian McCue. The half hour programme was broadcast on the BBC in November 1993. (photo Loraine Marshall)