Animal Farm is a 1955 British animated film by Halas and Batchelor, based on the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was the first British animated feature to be released. The C.I.A. paid for the filming, part of the U.S. cultural offensive during the Cold War, and influenced how Orwell’s ideas were to be presented.
The “financial backers” impacted on the development of the film – the altered ending, and that the message should be that, “Stalin’s regime is not only as bad as Jones’s, but worse and more cynical”, and Napoleon “not only as bad as JONES but vastly worse “. And the “investors” were greatly concerned that Snowball (the Trotsky figure) was presented too sympathetically in early script treatments and that Batchelor’s script implied Snowball was “intelligent, dynamic, courageous”. This implication could not be permitted. A memo declared that Snowball must be presented as a “fanatic intellectual whose plans if carried through would have led to disaster no less complete than under Napoleon.” de Rochemont accepted this suggestion.
In Orwell’s original book, the animals simply look on in dismay as they come to realise that the pigs have become nothing better than the human masters of old.
In a stark departure from Orwell’s book, the film ends immediately after this iconic image with the animals revolting against the pigs.