Friday, June 05, 2009


Take a look at this clip from YouTube:

If you're going, "WTF?!", settle in and watch all 8 segments. You won't be sorry.
Chances are you've never even heard of this film... or, if you're one of the obsessive few who remember some press about this in the early 80's, you haven't seen it.

This is one of the great 'lost' films of the 80's, particularly strange since it is a Lucasfilm Production; one of those projects that Lucas wanted to champion -- well, so much for that.
The history of the film has been detailed in print, and has been touched upon in the blog world and websites; what it boils down to is that what was envisioned by some to be a family film got made into something a bit edgier -- and being neither fish or fowl, the film fell between the cracks, with those being lucky enough to see it left to wonder if it really existed.

I got to catch one 'clandestine' screening at the UCSF campus in the early 1990's - had no idea that it had been broadcast on HBO several times before being pulled. And now, thanks to YouTube, this is the version you're now able to see.

Although it seems that this would be perfect DVD fodder - most of the people involved in the production have gone on to bigger things, like Henry Selick and David Fincher; most of the humor would be better received - it's sort of like the twisted progeny of Jay Ward, and its opening scene has been homaged by Tim Burton in BATMAN RETURNS; and most of all, it's produced by GEORGE LUCAS. But that's not a guarantee of anything - though it deserves a better presentation, this may be the main way people finally discover this film.

Another lost animation classic also up on the 'Tube is THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER, in a 'Recobbled' Cut. The legendary project by animator Richard Williams, it was years in production and finally taken away from him and finished up in an inferior version called ARABIAN KNIGHTS in the 90's. The Recobbled Cut is a fan-made project, which attempts to present the film as close to Williams' intent as possible, including pencil tests of unfinished sequences and original voice tracks. Obsessives kept this alive via websites and blogs; it's worth an hour and a half of your time to watch -- and then wonder how Disney never gets sued over films like, say ALADDIN.