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Ask No Questions

An animation using wooden animals

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A range of toy animals come to life in this 1930s amateur animation.

A man with a suitcase of wooden animals. A wooden monkey climbs out of reach onto a curtain. A wooden dog hides under the bed. Various wooden toy animals hide, perform tricks and play leapfrog.

Questions & Activities


  • Why do you think the film was called 'Ask No Questions'?
  • How did the filmmaker make the animals appear to move all by themselves?
  • How have the backdrops and sets been made? What has inspired them?
  • What do you think this film is about?


Compare the wooden toys with what children play with in the 21st century. (Tip: see the 'Scottish christmas' lesson guide for more about old toys)

Find out about the different habitats that appear in the film - which countries could these be and what animals live in them?

Research the influence of Abstract art and Expressionism on artists and filmmakers. (Tip: look at the backdrop where the dog performs tricks)

Explore connections in the film to puppet theatre and Lotte Reiniger's silhouette films.

Make your own animation using toys in your toy box.

Build an abstract backdrop for a diorama made using toy animals.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-529-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 7209
Date 1936
Genre Amateur, Animation, Women Filmmakers
School Subject Music, English, Art and Design
Subject Matter Animation, Amateur fiction
Who Violet Neish (Anderson), (director)
Where Glasgow
Event Glasgow School of Art
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 3:46
Film Length 3:46