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OK - as far as the 2 versions of this movie. There were 2 people involved in the making - John Korty and Bill Couterie (George was just the producer - he really didn't have any kind of say so in the film - just helped with money) - the 'Adult' version was made possible by Bill Couterie. John Korty didn't like or approve this version (as it was done behind his back). Thanks to Ladd films going under, they didn't advertise this movie and threw all their advertising cash for "The Right Stuff", hoping it would pull them through;... and it didn't. SO, this movie never really had a chance. When "Twice" made it to cable (HBO) - they showed the reels with Bill's version and John threatened to sue if it was shown anymore (did you notice how the 'adult' version wasn't on for very long?). Showtime got the 'clean' version. The version on the videotape and laser-disc is the version approved by John (who holds more power than Bill). It's a pity, really, as the 'adult' version is actually better and DOES make more sense. But it's VERY doubtful that it will ever be released in that version onto DVD (or any other format short of bootleg). Sorry to disappoint everyone. I know all this info as I used to be the president of the Twice Upon A Time Fan Club (still have numerous items from the movie - used to own a letter-boxed version of the 'adult' version, but it was stolen - only have a partial HBO copy of it now). 8 stars to the 'adult' version - 5 to the 'clean' version. Any other questions, just ask.
I kind of liked this animated film, at least the first time. On the
second viewing, this George Lucas-produced movie was too slow for me.
Why I found that, I can't remember (it's been awhile) but on my first
look I remember the uniqueness of this movie.
It is different from the rest simply because it gives you a combination of animation and black- and-white stills. It goes back and forth and sometimes on the same scene. The visuals aren't the only strange aspects. You also get a dash of zaniness in this comedy. You just don't know what crazy thing you are going to see next. There are so many unexplainable scenes that it's one of these films is better seen than explained!
I traded the VHS, along with others, for DVDs when they first came out. Now, I wish I could see this again......on DVD.
One of the most unheralded great works of animation. Though it makes the most sophisticated use of the "cut-out" method of animation (a la "South Park"), the real talent behind "Twice Upon a Time" are the vocal characterizations, with Lorenzo Music's (Carlton from TV's "Rhoda") Woody Allen-ish Ralph-the-all-purpose-Animal being the centerpiece. The "accidental nightmare" sequence is doubtless one of the best pieces of animation ever filmed.
I have grown up with this movie. I was a pre-teen when I first saw it, and
I've watched it every year or so since then, and I get something different
out of it each time. One of this film's strengths (and maybe one reason why
it wasn't a success) is that it targets a huge cross-section of
people...there is some relatively vulgar humour (I have never heard the G
dialogue so I don't know how much of the humour that removed...hopefully
Botch still eats the insect in his navel!), references to parts of our
culture, social commentary (the Rushers of Din would LIKE to be friendly,
but their just isn't any TIME), a heroic and exciting story, some disturbing
nightmarish imagery, some cute stuff for the kids, lots of self-aware
humour, and -- in my opinion the biggest asset -- it's damn weird.
Especially the dialogue. The voice actors are phenomenal, and they
occasionally mutter their lines, which adds to the strangeness of the whole
project. It's great, years later, to finally decipher one of those
Technically, it's amazing. The work that went into this film...I always find myself fascinated by Botch's mouth -- his rapidly moving mouth is a series of mouth photographs brilliantly matched and synced with his dialogue -- and everything just looks GOOD. And unique, in that curious tissue-paper animation style.
This is the only film I can think of that I can show to anybody, at any age. Little kids have heard worse language than what comes out of Botch's (brilliant) mouth, and so has my grandmother.
The only downside, maybe, are the dated pop songs. Bruce Hornsby (who, in my opinion, sounded bad in 1983 as well)! That said, the orchestral score is catchy, crazy, and beautiful at times, so it's not all bad.
In fact, it's all very, very good, overall.
Ralph and Mumford, misfits in their own land, get duped into being unwitting
pawns of Synanomess Botch. Twice Upon a Time is the story of them, the
characters they meet, and their struggle to set things
With a surprisingly impressive soundtrack and wonderful voice acting by some
of the best in the business, this offbeat movie hits the mark.
The animation process, while similar to that of the cut out "South Park" style, is much smoother and far more three-dimensional. If I didn't know that the animation was this style, I would swear that is was traditional pen and ink. If you can watch this film in Dolby Surround or THX, PLEASE DO! You won't really miss anything if you don't, but if you do, you will get much more out of the experience!
Very little known about this gem, is the fact that It was a Lucasfilm
production (yes, George Lucas) as he was perfecting his craft in this
of film (mixing animation and live action).
Not to mention, the plot and screenwriting in this film are excellent and the voice casting could not have been better. This is a stand alone funny film that will give you cramps from laughing so hard.
I worked in a Video store for 5 years and recommended this to 100's of people and was always thanked on the return.
Altogether one of the finest (and funniest) animated films ever to come out
of Hollywood, Twice Upon A Time is a lovingly crafted valentine to dreamers
of all kinds! Extremely witty writing makes it as enjoyable for grown-ups
as it is for children. Especially effective is Marshall Efron's performance
as the evil villain of the picture, Synonamess Botch! My only negative
comment about the video is that they have edited his dialogue in order to
change and/or eliminate many of his funniest (and rudest) comments. While
this was certainly necessary so that children could watch it, I wish they
could have released (or will release) an un-edited version.
Luckily I taped the original when it aired on cable many years ago, so I
still have it to watch, and it never fails to induce serious amounts of
laughter when I do.
Still, I cannot recommend the edited version highly enough!
This film deserves so much more recognition than it has gotten!
This is the kind of picture John Lassiter would be making today, if it weren't for advances in CGI. And that's just to say that he'd be forgotten, too, if technology hadn't made things sexy and kewl since 1983. _Twice..._ has got the same wit, imagination, and sense of real excitement that you'd find in a Pixar flick, only executed under the restrictions of the medium c. 1983. Innovative animation techniques combine with a great script and excellent voicing to produce a movie that appeals on lots of levels. It should be spoken of in the same breath with _Spiritited Away_ and _Toy Story_.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this classic on HBO after its short lived time as a
theatrical release. The version aired on HBO is much different in two
respects to the current Warner Home Video VHS version.
1) It's longer; has more footage to explain some salient story points. 2) Some of the jokes are little more risqué and daring, adding much needed R-rated humor to what's otherwise a mediocre comedy.
The film has good amounts of intellectual comedy, which range from subtle puns to sight-gags to slapstick. Most of the sight-gags are reserved for the black-&-white live action sequences, while the other jokes are kept mainly for the animated portions.
I personally find this film very funny and enjoyable, but the humor isn't for everyone. By that I mean it takes a certain kind of patience and willingness to churn the joke in your mind to really appreciate it. So even though it's a comedy, and a fairly clean one, it's not for everyone.
The funnier version is with the slightly racy humor. Some of the opening lines by the antagonist help establish his character, and add some much needed zing and energy to a film that can be hard to interpret at times. The "cleaner" version lacks this element, and suffers for it.
The film itself is somewhat difficult to describe. It's animated, but uses a unique technique called LUMAGE; where transparent and semi-transparent material is backlit and the characters and background are illuminated from behind, giving them a kind of glow. This gives the film a semi-amateurish feel, but in a good way, because the animation is meant to be styleized, and actually enhances the larger joke that the film is trying to convey: A kind of fairy tale cum melodrama spoof, set in a fantasy world that creates our dreams and nightmares.
Shot in San Francisco and the SF Bay Area en large it was fun to see and identify various places in the live action sequences (though this'll probably only appeal to folks who live in my area).
The film only has one real drawback *WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILER*; in the early sequence of the film Ralph and Mumford (our heroes) are working in the dreamworks, filling rockets with dream dust or somesuch. The idea here is that said rockets are fired off and sent to Uncle Greeny who distributes the dreams to the people of "the real world" (known as "DIN"). One rocket loses its balance or somesuch, falls over when its lit, and rockets all over the Dreamworks factory, causing much havoc. Me and my friends kind of understood what was happening in this sequence, but needed to see it several times before we were really able to discern what was happening. *SPOILER OFF*
Overall it's an enjoyable film, but the humor's tuned for those who like their jokes on the subtle and intellectual side. Watch at your own risk ;-)
RESTORATION SCREENED EVENING OF MAY 6th, 2008;
After many years I saw the "adult" version of this film last night, and viewing it with adult eyes and frame of mind I must admit to having some small mixed feelings regarding the more racy dialogue. It still adds zing to the film, and helps set a certain tone for that version, but, I can see where Korty objected to the PG language. Still, given all the other references in the "clean" version of this film, I'm still puzzled as to what kind of film he ultimately trying to make. Children's films don't have innuendo, blow-up dolls, nor nude models (however gorgeous :-)) flashing on the screen. In that vein, I have to state that the film could go either way, but is, in a small way, well served with a few taboo words... though they're really needed.
Man , I always forget how good this film is until someone says "Are you
to work or what"? And I start to reply "I am here to what, and where am
Paraphraising the film) Love the story, my twin girls thikn it is "The
Bomb"!! (a ggod thing they tell me!) It is soo sad Warner Bros does not
with this on DVD with alot of the behind the scenes stuff. Especially
they have NO other "Lucas" propertierws I am aware of in the Library at
studio in Burbank!
You never know a good thing till it's gone do ya ol' WB????
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