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The Adventures of Wee Rob Roy

An early comic animation

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Content warning: Racist depiction of indigenous black people.

This is an early animated short film about the adventures of Wee Rob Roy. In this film we see Wee Rob Roy playing the bagpipes in his living-room. His mother tells him to stop and he is sent out. Wee Rob goes hunting and takes pot shots at a bird and a rabbit. He then watches some golfers and jumps into a car parked outside the Thistle Inn. He runs over a policeman and a fisherman, travels over rough terrain, crashes and is sent flying through the air.

In a second sequence Rob Roy holds onto a bird's legs as it flies across the ocean, landing on an island where he is captured by the indigenous people. Wee Rob is then shot out of a cannon and flies back across the ocean. He lands safely back where he started - although on a thistle!

Questions & Activities


  • What elements in the film show Scottish culture?
  • How realistic is this film? What genre is it?
  • What stereotypes can you see in the film?
  • How does the depiction of the indigenous people on the island reflect the attitudes of white people at the time the film was made?
  • Can you spot uses of Scots language?
  • What do you know about life in 1916?
  • Where do you think this film was shown and to whom?


Research the history of the British Empire and Colonialism.

Discuss racism in the film. Find other early films that have racist and stereotyped depictions of black or indigenous people.

Find out about the history of the motor car.

Find out about cinemagoing during the First World War.

Create a short animation using paper cut-outs.

Create a soundtrack for the film using voice and percussion.

Have a discussion about the use of comedy and fantasy in animation.

Create a presentation on the 'Highlander' stereotype in comedy.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-107-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0635
Date 1916
Genre Animation, Cartoon
School Subject English, Media Studies, ICT, Geography, Social History, Music
Subject Matter Colonialism, Racism
Who Rob Roy (character)
Where Pacific, Scotland
Event First World War, Colonialism, British Empire, Golf
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 3:27
Film Length 03:27
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