Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12: The Water Babies

The Water Babies, 1978
Lionel Jeffries

More of a mini post, and one of the many examples of your childhood playing tricks on you later in life.

Here I was, in my flu-like state, trying to think of a good cartoon to do next for the blog, because apparently I can't let myself fall back on the infamous dA masterlist, even though I do promise to archive all that on here one day. And I ALSO didn't want to record my experiences with the two movies I watched in the last two days until I'd built up the courage to say that I actually enjoyed them (believe me when I say these two movies have enough emotion surrounding them, because of the beloved subject matter behind them). And even now as I sit typing this, I have Anastasia loading in another window- and Three Bluth's in a row is ridiculous.

So as I sat wondering what to do it hit me. Water Babies.

Water Babies is another one of those movies, much like Heidi or The Little Toaster, that doesn't have a big name studio attached to them that my grandparents brought me as a child. And like Heidi or The Little Toaster, that I have blurry memories of. "Did I like it? I remember seeing it more than once, I must have enjoyed it. Wouldn't I have more memories of it if I did though? I remember THINKING it looked different- does that mean it's actually got some substance to it?"

But unlike Heidi or The Little Toaster (The former having some supremely excellent nightmarish scenes in it that I forgot about and The Little Toaster having some BRILLANT animation) Water Babies is ever so "meh".

If you follow John K's blog, you'll remember a month or so ago, he was ripping in to the Canadian's animation style. Whish-Washy and weirdly formed, Water Babies comes from Poland- one of the Canada’s of Europe. (No-offence meant to Polish or Canadians on that, I just meant in terms of style it is kind of close. Infact, part of it was done here in the UK. We’re just as weird in that case!).

Click that link at your own Peril. I can't stand musical numbers like that...anymore.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

11: Xanadu, Don't Walk Away

Don't walk away, from the movie Xanadu
Don Bluth, 1980.

Before you start whining about "Oh god, not another Bluth post" don't start getting complacent- I'm NOT that much of a fan of his. I have serious issues with his animating style (it makes me a little uneasy...queasy even).

But I watched this movie for the first time the other day, and I was struck by how much a decent piece of animation can have no effect on how terrible the rest of your movies is.

So to save you the pain of actually watching that god-awful piece of retro camp trash, just watch this one snippet. You don't even need to know the context, and believe me, you don't- I wish I could have that 93 minitues back.

And also keep in mind the human portions were proberbly rotoscoped- that is to say, traced frame for frame. Or "Photo Referenced" as Disney used to call it.

Just watch it anyway- turn the sound off if you hate early 80's sap-pop as much as I do.

This post is more of a reference post to link back to this earlier one about the music video Mary. According to sources (wiki of course, I don't follow Scissor Sister gossip, what am, 40?), the band contacted Bluth to do Mary after remembering this scene in Xanadu (which is like a 93 minitue length Scissor Sister video).

Which is fair enough I guess. It is nice to see how much better Bluth became between the passing 24 years, and these two pieces of animation are nicely enough around the same length, and are both about frolicking humans for the most part.

But you can be the judge on that.