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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
When Kit starts to move to catch up to Rene during the Marathon, Barbara Wabbler states she's "currently in a disappointing fifth position", yet she passes four runners before catching up to Rene (leader), which would have put her in sixth position, not fifth. See more »
The original version of Animalympics was separated neatly into Summer and Winter Games halves. The version seen on TV and on video is the re-edited version, which most likely was created for its debut on HBO in the 80's. The version currently being shown on the Disney Channel has several edits:
A good deal of the "Noah's Ark Disco" sequence was cut (anything with animals smoking, drinking, and carousing)
Dean Wilson (the otter) saying of Kit Mambo and Rene, "Hey man, they're goin' all the way!" was cut.
Several other minor edits of topical 70's jokes were cut.
I think the word 'cheesy' can either be an awesome thing or a painfully awful thing. In this movie, it's awesome! 'Animalympics' screams the classic cheesy-ness late '70s, complete with a mostly soft rock soundtrack (which I really love). I saw it quite a bit when it was aired on Disney Channel time and time again during the early-to-mid '90s. I haven't seen it on TV in quite a while sadly.
This movie really sparked my imagination, nearly as much as 'Yellow Submarine' did. Sure, talking animals weren't new in 1979, but I don't think they've ever had so much personality! All the characters were some of the best developed I'd ever seen in a movie.
'Animalympics' is most entertaining before the very ending (after that, it's a tad saggy as the events get less interesting). I think the summer game events are some of the best in the whole movie, and the boxing scenes with the nod to Muhammad Ali are a laugh riot. The voices are brilliant! Gilda Radner and Billy Crystal were awesome in this movie, and I would have loved to see Gilda do more voice work. She was really cut out for it.
'Animalympics' is delightful to kids and adults alike with very sharp humor and exciting events. This was one of my all time favorites as a youngun, and although it's been a while since I've seen it (it's hard to find on video. I'm wishing and hoping for a DVD release), I remember it very fondly and would give nearly anything to see it again. Even though it's a tad expensive and out of print, I think it'll be worth shelling out a bit more than you'd usually pay for a movie.
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