Videocassette Series Hits Animation High Spots
Anyone interested in surveying the state of the personal animated film should consider a new series of videocassettes issued by Expanded Entertainment.
In addition to “Creature Comforts” and “Next!,” Aardman Animations offers four examples of stop-motion work from the innovative London Studio. Director Peter Lord’s “War Story,” a very funny portrait of a doddering old gent who describes London during the Blitz and how he ended up in the coal bin “with the Missus, her mum and the dog” offers a delightful antidote to the recent spate of nostalgia for World War II. The work of the Aardman studio is also featured prominently in “New British Animation: The Best of Channel 4.” Another highlight of the tape is Erica Russell’s lovely “Feet of Song,” a striking study of shifting colors and semi-abstract patterns.
Three additional British films rank among the best work on “The Animation Celebration Collection Vol. I:” Paul Vester’s “Sunbeam,” a light-hearted tribute to the music of the 1920s; “The Wreck of the Julie Plant,” a handsome visualization of a folk ballad by Stephen Weston and Taylor Grant, and the Oscar-nominated “Second Class Mail,” Allison Snowden’s satiric vision of love among the ruined.
“The International Tournee of Animation Vol. 4" also offers some exceptional films, including “Pictures From Memory;” Alexander Petrov’s exquisite paint-on-glass film, “The Cow” and “Sand Dance” by Rich Quade, a jazzy exercise in pure movement. (The tape also includes Candy Kugel’s and Vince Cafarelli’s inane “Warm Welcome in L.A.,” but it’s easy to fast-forward past it.)
“Paul Driessen: Animator” showcases the work of the noted Dutch artist, whose off-the-wall humor has won numerous festival awards. “Oh What a Knight” spoofs chivalric derring-do, while “On Land, at Sea and in the Air” takes a distinctly skewed look at the story of Noah and the Flood. Only Driessen would add a pair of hungry sharks following the Ark.
Any of these tapes would make an excellent gift for a cartoon buff--or an imaginative way to entertain relatives during the holidays. At $39.95 apiece plus tax and handling, they’re available from: Animation, P. O. Box 25547, Los Angeles 90025.