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“The Rushin’ Bear and the Flying Turk”

Australian sketch artist and caricaturist Harry Julius often ridiculed the enemy by using the techniques of political cartoonists. In this episode of his weekly Cartoons of the Moment, ironically captioned The German Dove of Peace, an eagle represents Germany. His second sketch deals provocatively with contemporary fashion trends, while the third refers to the ‘Rushin’ Bear’ and the ‘Flying Turk’ to show the capture of the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum by Russian forces in February 1916.

Year:1916

Location:Australia

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“The Rushin’ Bear and the Flying Turk”

Australian sketch artist and caricaturist Harry Julius often ridiculed the enemy by using the techniques of political cartoonists. In this episode of his weekly Cartoons of the Moment, ironically captioned The German Dove of Peace, an eagle represents Germany. His second sketch deals provocatively with contemporary fashion trends, while the third refers to the ‘Rushin’ Bear’ and the ‘Flying Turk’ to show the capture of the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum by Russian forces in February 1916.


Year: 1916

Length: 03:33

Production Company: Australasian Gazette

Credits: Australasian Gazette 278

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 40451


People: Cartoonist: Harry Julius

Location: Australia

Tags: Australia, Harry Julius, cartoons, animation, newsreels

Subject: cartoons, animation


In January 1915 Australia’s largest film production company, Australasian Films, commissioned ‘lightning’ sketch artist and caricaturist Harry Julius to provide the country’s first-ever satirical cinematic commentaries on the news. These were included in the company’s nationally distributed weekly newsreel, the Australasian Gazette. Julius (1885-1938) was already a household name after delivering satirical sketches for the major newspapers for some years. Each edition of Cartoons of the Moment is a mixture of live action and stop motion technology, and follows a similar format. This edition begins with Harry Julius working at his easel on the rocky shore of a surf beach. Three topical stop-motion animated sketches follow – a typical mix of war subjects, politics and life at home.

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“The Rushin’ Bear and the Flying Turk”

  • Australia

  • 0:00

    Intertitle: CARTOONS OF THE MOMENT by the Australian Cartoonist Harry Julius. Australian Gazette

  • 0:02

    Julius works at his easel on rocks by the beach. People in bathing suits look on.

  • 0:17

    Intertitle: THE GERMAN DOVE OF PEACE

  • 0:21

    Drawing of a man with wings holidng a feathered quill and wearing a Pickelhaube (German military spiked helmet). A sign reads ‘Germany is opening a peace branch in Switzerland’

  • 0:28

    Sped up footage of Julius drawing an eagle wearing a Pickelhaube (German military spiked helmet) perched on a pedestal which reads, ‘German Peace Branch’.

  • 0:56

    The man with wings from earlier flies past with a sword. Voice bubble reads, ‘We must make peace before the Allies smash us’. The eagle replies, ‘Yes – so that we may prepare for revenge’

  • 1:19

    Intertitle: THE EVOLTION (sic) OF THE SKIRT

  • 1:23

    Sped up footage of Julius drawing a fashionable woman. Sign reads, ‘Since the crinoline days…’ then through animation the large skirt gradually shrinks. The sign reads, ‘….skirts have gradually shrunk….’

  • 2:05

    The shirt shrinks further and her fashion changes. The sign reads, ‘…..until we have this style in 1916. What will next year bring forth?

  • 2:12

    The dress gets even shorter. Before it gets too immodest it is replaced by a pleated skirt. The sign reads, ‘Perhaps something like this will be worn’

  • 2:26

    Intertitle: THE RUSHIN’ BEAR AND THE FLYING TURK

  • 2:31

    Sped up footage of Julius drawing a bear in military uniform holding a rifle with a bayonet. A voice bubble reads, ‘I’m out to give Mr Turk a bad time’. Through animation, the bear runs off

  • 2:56

    Sped up footage of Julius drawing a turkey wearing a ‘Turkish fez’ and hiding in a city labelled ‘Ezeroum’, Voice bubbles read, ‘Hullo people, seen the Russians About?’. ‘No – then I’ll come out’

  • 3:16

    The turkey jumps out. It says, ‘I’m afraid you have been kidding me’. The ‘Rushin’ Bear’ appears and chases the turkey off. A sigh reads, ‘The mighty Russian bear comes back to stay’