George Orwell’s anti-totalitarian novella, Animal Farm, almost never saw the light of day. The manuscript barely survived the Nazi bombing of London during World War II, and then T.S. Eliot (an important editor at Faber & Faber) and other publishers rejected the book, partly for political reasons. Eventually Animal Farm came out in print in 1945 (download it via our Free Audio Books and Free eBooks collections) and the now-famous text became an animated film in 1954.
Produced by Halas and Batchelor (and funded by the CIA, although the animators didn’t know it), Animal Farm was the first British animated feature released worldwide, and the animation style — dubbed “Disney-turned-serious” — received critical praise. The film runs 80 minutes, and you can watch it above or here.