Kenneth Cooper "Ken" Annakin, OBE was a prolific English film director who directed a series of Walt Disney adventures, including The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952), The Sword and the Rose (1953), Third Man on the Mountain (1959), and Swiss Family Robinson (1960), which Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, considered "one of the greatest family adventure films of all time and a favourite for generations of moviegoers".
Annakin was born in and grew up in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire. After leaving school he became a trainee income tax inspector and later decided to emigrate to New Zealand, and travelled around the world in a variety of jobs. Injured in the Liverpool Blitz, Annakin joined the RAF Film Unit, where he worked as a camera operator on propaganda films for the Ministry of Information and the British Council. We Serve (1942), a recruiting film for women, was directed by Carol Reed, who made Annakin his assistant director; Annakin subsequently directed several training films for Verity Films, a group led by Sydney Box, who was soon to become head of Gainsborough Pictures.
Films that Annakin directed include London, It Began on the Clyde, Here Come the Huggetts, Landfall, Double Confession, Hotel Sahara, The Seekers, The Longest Day, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, Battle of the Bulge, The Long Duel, and The Call of the Wild.