Animalympics is all about the Animal Olympics Contest where all the animals around the world gather to take part in everything from skiing in North America to the very long marathon race in humid conditions. With lively music provided by Graham Gouldman, the film is very different to other cartoons, being more of a drama-comedy than cartoon. With a turtle hosting the proceedings and a killer whale competing against a sting ray in the swimming competition. Written by
Graeme Huggan <email@example.com>
Conceived in 1976 to parody the hype surrounding the Olympic Games. Creator Steven Lisberger made a 7-minute short for the film with a $10,000 dollar grant from the American Film Institute. He decided the idea could be expanded, so he got backing from NBC to produce the film, and, obtaining a 7-figure budget, moved his studio from his Boston loft to California. Lisberger and NBC produced two 30-minute parts: "Animalympics: Winter Games" and "Animalympics: Summer Games." Only "Winter Games" aired in 1979, but "Summer Games" never aired, due to the United States boycotting the Olympics when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The next year, both parts were edited together with new footage. The resulting feature film, known simply as "Animalympics," aired only on HBO, where it enjoyed a cult following for years to follow. See more »
During his musical sequence, René Fromage tosses a rose behind him, but then steps on it in the next shot. See more »
Dude, they're going all the way!
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I saw this film as a kid and really loved it, mainly because of the imaginative and funny uses of different animals competing in certain sports (i.e. Squid in the Bobsled, Otter for the swimming, Frog for the high jump, Bull in the boxing etc etc etc) but also because of the terrific soundtrack and songs by Graham Gouldman of 10CC. Watching it again as an adult on video I realised that there is so much more going on in the film - mainly that it was far wittier than i could have imagined as a child. The animals in many cases are affectionate digs at real sportsmen (i.e. the Hare competing against the Bull smacks of Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier), and the nationalities of the animals reflects brilliantly on their characters as well (in the marathon, the only frequently repeated event in the film, the goat is French and the puma is African (they fall in love!) the otter is Californian (of course) and surfs about on his tail. This is a wonderful film - expertly voiced over by Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner and Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap / Simpsons fame) - full of humour and genuine affection towards sports, animals and animation (which is top quality throughout it should be noted) and as i mentioned before the songs are great - perhaps a bit dated now with the late 70s/early 80s production, but then a great tune never fails to touch you somehow, no matter how it is presented. This is recommended to fans of animation firstly, also to lovers of track and field events (they're all there) and to any fans of the previously mentioned artists (Crystal, Shearer, Gouldman). Here's awaiting a DVD and full critical appraisal!
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