Film ID: NEFA 20733 Video of NEFA 20733 Be a Good Neighbour BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR 1977 Visitor TabsDescription This comic short animation by South Shields-born Sheila Graber features an abundance of canine cracks. The film was a commission for the British Police campaign to promote part of a government initiative launched in 1977, the Good Neighbours Scheme. A dog on holiday is shocked to discover his kennel has been burgled. He learns about the ways in which he can protect his home through the Good Neighbours Scheme. Title: Be A Good Neighbour (over picture) Credit: Sound: Ron Chapman (over picture) Credit: Producer: Sheila Graber (over picture) A row of kennels look like houses with different front doors. A pink dog leaves his dog kennel home with a suitcase and puts his sunglasses on. A sequence of images illustrate the tell-tale signs for burglars when occupants leave their homes empty (or dogs their kennels): letters and newspapers “Daily Bark” and “Sunday Howl” hanging out of the letter box, the dog bone curtains closed, milk bottles and cans of dog food building up on the doorstep. Portrait shot of a cat burglar whose eyes transform into targets briefly, his eyes attracted by the tell-tale signs of an empty kennel. A cat burglar, in a stripy jumper, enters the home through a window clutching a jemmy, emerging with his loot of a TV, dog toy ring and a framed portrait. He holds out a sign with “Thanks Chum … P”. Meanwhile, the dog is on holiday and floating on an inflatable lilo on the sea, a cocktail at his feet. A police scuba diver surfaces with a sign: “Your home has been burgled”. The dog falls into the sea in shock. The dog gingerly returns home. A policeman hands him a leaflet about the “Good Neighbour Scheme” launched by the police. The pink dog reads about “facts for your good neighbour” in the police leaflet and fills in the form for a neighbour, writing the time of his departure and return from holiday. He writes his holiday address: “Hounds Hotel, Isle of Dogs” and telephone number, which is 1066 007. The dog also fills in his car details: its make is “Rover” in a “bone white” colour with registration “WOOF 2”. This time, when the pink dog goes on holiday, he rings the doorbell of his neighbour, a rather unfriendly bulldog with a spiky dog collar who chases him away angrily. He runs into another friendlier neighbour’s kennel clutching his filled-in Good Neighbour Scheme leaflet, the door shutting in the bulldog’s face. He hands over the leaflet and a key for extra security. He also shows his dog neighbour a picture of a pretty poodle friend who may call round whilst he is away on holiday. The neighbour makes an appreciative doggy comment. More advice follows for the pink dog going on holiday: cancel the milk, newspapers and other home deliveries. The dog stamps the pictures with a rubber “cancel” stamp, smashing the glass milk bottle. He hands over his valuables to the bank for safe keeping: framed portrait of the girlfriend, dog toy. He puts all garden implements into his shed and locks it with a padlock. He checks all his window fastenings to make sure they are secure. He begins to lock his chest of drawers but the advice on commentary is not to do so. The dog’s thought bubble pictures the damage that would follow if a break-in occurred. The dog begins to draw his dog-bone curtains but the advice is not to do so as “this advertises your absence”. The pink dog opens up the curtains. The dog turns off his gas and water supply. The pink dog then pats the head of a little boy in a box. The advice on commentary is: “And of course, make proper arrangements for the care of pets.” The dog shuts the lid of the box. Now, the pink dog leaves his dog kennel with a suitcase, waved off by the dog neighbour, his home covered by the Friendly Neighbour Scheme. The good neighbour dog is then pictured in a houndstooth deer stalker (Sherlock Holmes sleuth style) and peers through a magnifying glass. The next sequence illustrates the speedy action the dog will take should there be any deliveries that have not been cancelled. He will also check frequently for suspicious activity and look out for any callers at the kennel home. As a friend calls round at the dog holidaymaker’s home, the friendly neighbour pops over to introduce himself and check who the caller is. A dog encyclopaedia salesman has visited, gives him the sales patter and leaves a set of encyclopaedias in his paws. At night the cat burglar is climbing in the pink dog’s kennel again. Outside he has a cart with the slogan “I Nickit” painted on. The friendly neighbour spots the break-in. He dials 999 on his telephone and reports the burglary. As the cat burglar emerges from the window with his swag bag, a policeman plonks a Good Neighbour scheme leaflet over the cat burglar (long arm of the law style). The cat peers out and miaows in distress. He is carted off in the leaflet. The good neighbour dog in a deer stalker welcomes back the pink holiday dog, shaking his hand. They both wag their tails. The pink dog, now in a deer stalker hat, returns the favour when the neighbouring couple and their many puppies then go on holiday. He waves them off from his kennel doorstep. Tracking shot along the kennel street, some kennels protected by the Good Neighbour scheme. The film ends with a shot of the pink dog pointing to a police cap. Credit: Produced in the interest of crime prevention, for the Police Service (over picture) Context Helping hand for hounds on holiday An animation stuffed full of canine cracks promotes the Home Office Good Neighbour scheme in the 1970s. Is your neighbourhood going to the dogs? This campaign film guarantees to help dispense ruff justice to cat burglars with swagger. South Shields artist Sheila Graber’s witty animation brims with canine quips. Commissioned by Northumbria Police, the film was made to promote the crime-busting Home Office Good Neighbour scheme, rolled out in Britain in 1977. Still an amateur animator at the time, this was Sheila Graber’s first paid commission, requested after a policeman watched her award-winning 12 Days of Christmas on BBC Look North in 1975. She later gained international recognition for her animations of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, commissioned by Nicole Jouve of Interama, agent for The Magic Roundabout. Graber went on to win a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal Television Society in 2004.