Sunday, 22 January 2012


Greetings Earth Dwellers, and once more unto the breach as we arrive at the penultimate entry in my Top 5 Alternative Animated Features countdown.
The most memorable cartoon experiences come of course from our childhood, when wonderment and suspension of disbelief allow us to experience the symphony of colour, movement and sound to its fullest extent. But not all of these experiences survive a revisit.
Although nostalgia is a powerful thing, the true test is watching it again and whether as an adult you are able to embrace it as you did when you were a child. The myriad levels and depth of some cartoons are such that they can always be enjoyed with any amount of watching.
Animalympics was one such animated feature.

At its most basic, its about animals (albeit anthropomorphic ones) competing in the Olympic games. Fantastic idea to begin with, as we've all asked the questions: Who would win in a fight between a kangaroo and a buffalo? Who would win in a race between a Crocodile and a leopard? etc. All these questions and more are answered in this film. But also the voice characterisations, the subtle humour and tongue-in-cheek puns, the story of adversity, triumph, love, and joy, combine to make an animated spectacle that I have always been able to watch and enjoy since I first saw it in 1985. The cherry on the top is the masterful soundtrack that was composed and performed by Graham Gouldman (10cc Bassist) and compliments the cartoon to sublime effect.

With the Olympics here upon us, in our very capital, Animalympics is perhaps more topical than ever.
Enjoy another muscial clip from the film and Ill see you at the next blog.
Big D out.

Fire & Ice and all things nice.

A stirring score. Dark, stylised animation. Sword meets sorcery. It could only be Ralph Bakshi, and it could only be Fire & Ice.

Best known for his works: Lord of the Rings, Wizards, and Fritz the Cat, Ralph Bakshi teamed up with fantasy artist Frank Frazetta for the (1983) animated feature Fire & Ice.
Although given limited release and financially unsucessful, the film is no less enjoyable than any of the classic fantasy romps that were around at the time. Beastmaster, Conan et al.
In my opinion Bakshi's dark, brooding style coupled with the realisation of Frazetta's artwork make for a heady combination that is difficult to forget.
Of course the reason it is at my No.1 of alternative animated features is, as always, because of the lowest common denominator. A scantily clad woman. Princess Teegra.

She was the first, and probably only, cartoon character I lusted after with all the pant arousing passion that any young man could muster. Barefooted and wearing a microkini that remarkably defied all the laws of physics, she bounced around the screen with the wanton abandon of an over inflated novelty armchair.
Now I realise that Frank Frazetta's fantasy women are exactly that. Fantasy. Although porn star Daphne Rosen does bear some resemblence.

But I was young and impressionable... and, as most nerdy teenagers are, pathetic and desperately horny.
But all hornyness aside its an animated classic and a definate must for all fantasy fans.
Heres the theatrical trailer for the movie. Hopefully it'll whet your appetite and you'll go and watch it on Youtube.

If you can, watch the movie. NOW! There are some truly great moments. Pay special attention to the finale. Its essentially the Battle of Yavin, Death Star run, but through the ice trenches of Necron's stronghold, and instead of X-wings its Dragon Hawks. Fantasy-tastic!
There it is. The final installment in my Top 5 Alternative Animated Features.
Keep tuning in kids, and Ill see you at the next blog.
Big D out.