John Halas and Joy Batchelor met in London in 1937. John had arrived from Budapest having been asked to set up British Colour Cartoon Films Limited and was looking for animators. Joy answered his advertisement. He saw her work and hired her on the spot. John spoke no English and since he already had a studio in Budapest they decided it would be more practical and cheaper to produce Music Man 1938 there. The production soon came to an end as Europe was on the brink of the Second World War, so by 1939 the couple moved back to London.
They initially made a living illustrating posters, books and magazines, eventually finding work with the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, which set them up in their film unit at Bush House, London making ads such as Train Trouble 1940 for Kellogg’s and Carnival in the Clothes Cupboard 1940 for Lux.