Gilliam's debut shows already plenty of wacky genius, very Python
Storytime, finally available in some circles (thanks you-tube), is the first cartoon, or series of cartoons, from Terry Gilliam. His gift for the silliest and most tasteless visual gags, as well for skill in creating comedy out of what can also be oddly imagined, is on full display in three stories presented in the span of eight and a half minutes.
First is a little diddy about a "cheerful little cockroach named Don", who goes about munching on food (this one scene, where Don goes behind a cupboard, is all meant to be like radio where there's lots of big noises and thumps and crashes and grunts, but only the cupboard on screen, very funny), is stomped on by a foot that belongs to a long lineage of famous people all in the classic cut-outs later made infamous on Flying Circus. After this story is canned ("The animator responsible has been sacked"), we get the tale of Albert Einstein- the 'other' Einstein, who only held himself in esteem through his hands, who later went on to have an affair with feet. The last story, sort of tacked on as it were, may be the weakest of the three if only because it's ironically a little more loosely structured than the other two stories, and is just a bunch of images from a "Christmas card", where a carriage is chased by a bunch of Indians, and other goodies 'sketched out' in typically deductive Gilliam reasoning (why not bring an arm out to grab and pull away those carolers singing gibberish?)
Overall, it's very fine work from a man who before becoming a madman maverick filmmaker was the resident thespian animator of tasteless satire featuring the crudest drawings and backgrounds and cut-outs, all formed together in a wonderful form. If you're a fan of Gilliam in the slightest, and especially a Python die-hard, it's a must to seek this out online or wherever it might be.
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