Not Without My Handbag

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Not Without My Handbag
Directed byBoris Kossmehl
Produced byPeter Lord (executive producer)
Christopher Moll (producer)
David Sproxton (executive producer)
Written byBoris Kossmehl
Andrea Friedrich
Music byJulian Nott
CinematographyAndy MacCormack
Fred Reed
Edited byDavid McCormick
Aardman Animations
Channel Four Films
Distributed byChannel 4 Television Corporation (1993) (UK) (TV)
Manuel Salvador (all media)
Release date
10 April 1993 (France)
14 November 1993 (UK)
25 June 1994 (Q-Movies Festival, Finland)
7 June 2003 (Worldwide Short Film Festival, Canada)[1]
Running time
13 min

Not Without My Handbag is a 1993 short film created by animator Boris Kossmehl at Aardman Animations.



A girl lives with her aunt in a small house. One day, the aunt gets late for a washing machine payment. When reading the contract, she finds that “on non-payment of installments, the contractee shall go to Hell without further notice.” She makes a phone call for a red horned monster who lives in Hell and when he arrives he kills her by making her heart stop pumping and the girl witnesses her getting dropped to Hell and puts her dead body under a grave she had made. Meanwhile, while falling down the yellow spiral that leads to Hell, the aunt feels that she has forgotten something and starts to return to find out what it is, avoiding the monster. When returning as a skeleton, she explains to her niece that she forgot to take her treasured accessory, a proper handbag. That night, the monster returns and transforms into a handbag when eating the handbag. He causes havoc around the house: he attacks and eats a mouse, and knocks the food in the refrigerator, until the girl catches him, but the monster kidnaps her in the washing machine. The next morning, the aunt looks for her handbag and she finds the monster torturing her niece in the washing machine and says that the monster is a very cheap imitation. The monster says he will give her a cheap imitation and starts dragging her to Hell again, but the girl stops him with a bakery’s worth of food. The monster eats the pastries and grows big and fat. The girl feeds him a chocolate éclair and the monster explodes releasing the handbag and land in front of its owner’s feet. The aunt says she would visit anytime her niece wants, remember to always read the small prints before she dies and also to avoid any cheap imitations. She and the girl bid each other farewell.


Critical reception[edit]

Not Without My Handbag received a rating of 6.9/10 from 288 users.[2] German review site AllesFilm said Not Without My Handbag was "one of the best Aardman short films", and complemented its humour, visuals, deranged tone, and "genius fun".[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

This is a list of awards and nominations of Not Without My Handbag.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1994 Boris Kossmehl Tampere International Short Film Festival award for Best Animation (International Competition) Won