Halász, János (John Halas)
1912 - 1995
Janos Halasz (John Halas) was a pioneering Hungarian animator and graphic designer. He was born in Budapest in 1912. He started his career in the late 1920s as an illustrator and poster artist, working for the Est newspapers for example. From 1929, he spent one year working in Paris.
After returning to Budapest, he worked with George Pal (György Marincsák), who later became a very successful animator film director and producer in Hollywood. Halasz felt he needed more formal training, so in 1930, he started studying Sandor Bortnyik's atelier and school, which was called Muhely (Studio or Workshop) which was advertised and recognized as the Bauhaus in Budapest, and it operated under the principles of the Bauhaus. He was also working for Bortnyik as his assistant. He met numerous important artists who were either tutors or students there, including Bereny, Moholy-Nagy, Konecsni, Rado, Macskassy, Vasarely, Nemes, etc.
In 1934 he founded a film studio named Coloriton with Gyula Macskássy and Felix Kassowitz joined them later, producing advertising films. After a few successful years of working together and producing dozens of imaginative and humorous ad films, Halasz moved to England in 1937 to work on a film, where he met his future wife and work partner, Joy Batchelor. They returned to Budapest the same year, to work on a Hungarian production of The Steadfast Tin Soldier with Gyula Macskassy. Due to some difficulties in production (accounts about the exact reasons vary), the film was never finished and they moved back to London.
Joy and John founded their animation company Halas and Bachelor in 1940, which produced numerous successful films and existed for five decades.