Quick: Who are the leading lights of British animation?

If no one instantly springs to mind, don’t worry — audiences across the pond might have difficulty naming names, too.

“The big names the audiences are most aware of (in animation) are the same names that you’re aware of: They are the Fleischers (Betty Boop, Popeye). They are Disney. They are Warner Bros.’ Bugs Bunny,” said Jez Stewart, a curator at the British Film Institute National Archive.

“British products have always struggled to compete with the readily available American cartoons, which are made in high volume, high quality, and it’s much easier to import those,” said Stewart, who manages the BFI’s animation collection.

Instead of packing it in, though, British animators found other outlets for their creativity, including stop-motion shorts, wartime propaganda films and an imitation of Felix the Cat called Bonzo the Dog.

During the next few days, as part of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, a celebration of all things illustrated, the Wexner Center for the Arts will screen an assortment of such cartoons as selected by the British Film Institute. Screenings will take place Thursday and Saturday.

“People have great creative freedoms in these other areas because they’re not dependent on the box office for their return,” Stewart said. “Those are the areas that have really flourished.”

The Wexner Center program reaches back as far as 1907, when Walter R. Booth’s short film “The Sorcerer’s Scissors” was released.

“This is actually a film that’s mostly live-action, but it has its little sequences of cut-out animation,” Stewart said. “It’s one of the earliest examples of true animation, of definitive stop-motion, that we have in the collection.”

World War II-era propaganda films are represented with “Adolf’s Busy Day,” an anti-Nazi cartoon made by amateur filmmaker Lawrence Wright in 1940.

“The guy was an architect, and he just sort of took it upon himself to make this animated film,” Stewart said. “It’s one of the very few examples that we have of making a comedy out of Hitler.”

“Booster Bonzo; Or, Bonzo in Gay Paree” (1925), featuring the dog Bonzo, boasts a particularly British focus on canines.

“American animation, silent animation, had a lot of cats,” Stewart said. “Britain had loads of dogs, so there was Bonzo. There was another dog called Pongo. There was Dismal Desmond.”

Reflecting the British class system, Bonzo was a dog with middle-class mores, he added.

“Bonzo … is worried more about his trousers and his fashion than actually just getting a meal to eat,” he said.

Other program highlights include “Transformer,” a brief trailer produced for an animation festival in Cambridge, England, in 1968.

“It has the look of ‘Yellow Submarine’ because it was designed by Heinz Edelmann,” Stewart said, referring to the art director of the famous Beatles-inspired feature film.

The program also features cartoons of more recent vintages, including “Britannia” (1993) and “The Queen’s Monastery” (1998). Both were directed by women — Joanna Quinn and Emma Calder, respectively.

As with the series as a whole, Stewart hopes these two films draw attention to aspects of animation history unfamiliar to many audiences.

“One of the things that we really wanted to do was restate the story of women in British animation,” he said.