|Index||5 reviews in total|
This short was nominated for an Academy Award and is actually fairly good, with an amusing premise about a cat who leads a much more interesting and involved life than his humans realize. While not the best short I've seen, entertaining enough with quite a few good moments and young children will be quite entertained. Good animation. Recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Famous Fred" is a 25-minute animated short film that was made for the holidays 1996, so it will have its 20th anniversary soon. The director is Joanna Quinn and she is also the one who adapted the book by Posy Simmonds for the screen here. The result is a film that can be considered her biggest success as it scored a BAFTA nomination and an Oscar nomination (lost to Pixar). However, I myself am fairly baffled by the film's success. It is really too absurd and offers too little to be an animated film that is also worth seeing for grown-ups. It is about a cat who gets trained by a guinea-pig to be a famous rock star. I must say I liked the parts that just dealt with the cat being a normal pat, but the whole rock star business plot was nothing funny or entertaining in my opinion. I guess that's also why I did not care for the protagonist at all. I preferred the guinea-pig, no surprise. Many children were probably glad with the plot twist at the end and they must have felt relief, but I just felt indifference. Really mediocre movie. Not recommended.
Nice animation, decent production values but not much appeal for anyone
over age 12.
FAMOUS FRED seems to be, in some ways, the life of Elvis in cat form! Fred is a cat who can sing and charm the ladies like The King and over time, he puts on weight and lets himself go...like The King. Aside from these parallels and some nice animation, there wasn't much about this British cartoon that appealed to me. Like ROCKADOODLE, this film seemed to be aimed just at the kids and would have extremely limited appeal to adults. In fact, it was a real chore for me to watch it. So why did I do this? Well, I have recently begun watching as many of the recent Academy Award winners in the category of Best Animated Short Film and this one was nominated for the Oscar in 1998.
I remember seeing this on television at around Christmastime about
eight years ago and I was highly engaged with it. I found this on Vimeo
today and whilst watching it was as good as I remembered and there were
a few things I noticed differently from the first time around such as
the production company TVC being spelt out in magnetic letters on the
fridge and some subtle adult jokes in spite of two reviewers saying
this was mostly aimed at children.
The animation style, while flickery and repetitive in parts yet smooth with some great uses of squash and stretch and follow-through and overlapping action, captures the look of Posy Simmonds' book illustrations perfectly (despite not having read the original 'Fred' book but I do own 'Lulu and the Chocolate Wedding') while the music has a great variety to it from gospel to rock and roll. The dialogue is often gentle yet witty and somewhat tongue in cheek, thus giving this short a pleasing appeal to both children and adults alike while the voice acting is superb, particularly from Jessica Lynam and David John Barker as the children Sophie and Nick respectively, Joanna Quinn as their mother, Lenny Henry as Fred and Tom Courtenay as Kenneth the guinea pig.
All in all this is a hugely entertaining short film, albeit its repeated animation in places, that should also appeal to fans of 'The Snowman' films. 9/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I was a kid I used to think this was quite a funny and interesting like story about a cat becoming a star of singing. It looks like the same animation as The Snowman, but it doesn't make you cry as much. Basically, a cat named Fred who belonged to Nick and Sophie. They soon find out Ginger and many others cats are holding a tribute and funeral to their star. Kenneth the hamster tells the story of why Fred was so famous. He first started as a present for Mum, then he grew to become the cats favourite singing sensation. He soon became known as Famous Fred. It's such a shame he died, or did he, he had one of nine lives left! Lenny Henry as Fred is just perfect. It was nominated the Oscar and BAFTA, both for Best Short Film, Animated. Good!
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