Film: 3969

Animation | 1970 | Sound | Colour

Synopsis:

Light hearted animated history of money, bartering and trade.

A dog walks into shot past a five pound note on the floor. He jumps on it and starts to tear at it. Larger dog (the film's narrator) looms into view while the pup chews the note. "In prehistoric times there was no such thing as money". A plump figure with a grass skirt and a spear hunts for food, the dog watches. Scared off by a stamping foot, he runs away. He finds a superior hunter munching on meat and swaps spears he has made for beef. He trips over the dog and lands at a sign, "Barter". Three cartoon prehistoric men, one has beef, one has shoes and one has spears. They barter and swap their wares. No one wants the spears and he snaps them in half. Close-up of his disgruntled face as he thinks of something else to barter with. Hiding in a bush he gets closer and closer to the dog, then leaps out and grabs him. He presents the dog to the others showing off his teeth and tricks
The dog walks along a line of people who all swap various items for him. Invention of money, a way of pre-deciding the value of something.
A man has two dogs on a leash, they fight and run away from him tangling him up in the leash in the process. An axe and a pile of gold, hearts appear all around them and the word "trust" because they could be trusted to hold their value. Hearts fill the screen and form the word trust. Two white doughy figures on the screen, one hands over a basket of apples in exchange for an axe to drop down the apple tree. An equation showing a basket of thirty apples equalling one axe. Difficult to determine the value of one apple because the axe loses its usefulness if it is divided up. Basket of apples equals block of gold. Two figures, one hands over one gold coin for one apple. People line up exchanging coins for apples until one tries to hand over a coin with a hole in it.
"Money must be protected, produced by honest men in safe places". A railing comes down in front of the word money and two royal guards stand outside it. A castle with one tower shaking. Inside the money makers punch the coins. A man approaches the castle on a horse. A guard gives him a box full of coins, it is heavy and he falls over.
A goldsmith polishes a goblet. A rich gentleman enters and places his money on the desk. The rich man has sips on a glass of sherry while the goldsmith makes out a receipt for his money. The rich man uses the receipt to buy a painting from a French looking character with a beret and moustache who holds a palette. "Enter the banknote". More rich people take their money into the Goldsmiths. The goldsmith gets tired and red faced from running up and down. He takes out a book of printed notes for his next customer. "They had invented the cheque book". Outside the Goldsmith's the sign spins and changes to "Bank".
An explosion and "Boom!" appears on the screen, military men load canons for war. Group of wealthy merchants stand next to all the banks. A line is drawn around them and is turned into a building - the Bank of England. Allowed to start printng notes in exchange for lending money to the government for the war. The notes fly around the building. The building has a British flag, Union Jack on the top.
An Italian character enters the bank and hands the banker a note - "The Bill of Exchange"
A sunny day, a rainbow and a windmill in the background, "then came the Industrial Revolution", industry builds up in the picture, smoking chimneys, railroad, factory buildings etc.. Introduction of the cheque book and credit card.


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