Animalympics (1980) Poster


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A time capsule worth revisiting
world_of_weird29 November 2005
ANIMALYMPICS is definitely one of those films that pretty much defines its time and place - it's got a soft-rock score by 10CC's Graham Gouldman, some shiny chrome-effect logos and bumpers (the titles that pop up at the start of each segment), references to late seventies pop culture including disco fever and surf bums, and it's pre-political correctness so there are plenty of stereotypes (if you're offended by the joke early on about all Asian people looking the same, represented by a herd of puffins, you'd better tune out or get a sense of humour) and, believe it or not, a lot of none-too-thinly-veiled sexuality from our anthropomorphic heroes - the animators do have a habit of going slightly over the top with any movement that involves breasts or rear ends! Whilst the animation isn't the best you'll ever see (I wasn't impressed with the high quantity of 'static' shots where there is literally NO animation at all) and there's not enough action or excitement for the little ones, ANIMALYMPICS does have a nice, dry sense of humour, several bright moments and a welcome lack of cynicism. If you want to revisit your youth or want to give your kids something different from the usual CGI mayhem, this may be worth a look.
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Great film, bad timing.
Baroque10 September 2000
This film was made to co-incide with the 1980 Olympic games in Moscow. Sadly, the boycott over the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan damped much ethusiasm over the games, and this film fell by the wayside.

Now on video, and being marketed for the children's market, this film is a very clever spoof of network coverage of the olympic games, complete with jabs at celebrity worship and product endorsement (In one scene, a pole vaulter makes a record-breaking vault, and lands feet first into a studio set for a breakfast cereal commercial).

This film features the vocal talents of the late Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer (doing an incredible impersonation of Keith Jackson as "Keen Hacksaw"), Billy Crystal (lampooning Howard Cosell) and Michael Fremer. The very 1980's style music is by 10cc member Graham Gouldman.

There is no real "plot" to the film, just a series of linked vignettes about olympic sports (both summer and winter). Very clever.

The kids will love it for the action and animation. The adults will love it for the clever writing. A great film released at a bad time.
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A Little Known Animated Treat
Derrick The Red11 September 2000
I first saw ANIMALYMPICS back in the day when HBO was first getting started. I would see it pop up here and there on NBC around Olympic time or when they needed to fill in space in a really cruddy hour version.

If you've got HBO FAMILY, try to catch this funny and entertaining movie. It's pretty much of a cult item since the songs were done by 10CC (Gee, aren't WE dating ourselves with even KNOWING about 10CC) but the songs are prett good in the context on the story (especially the song that Kit Mambo and Rene Fromage run to)

The voices are mostly provided by Billy Crystal and Gilda Radner, which adds to the semi-cult status of the full-length version. It's a really good me.
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Top animation, highly recommended!
dombrewer20 August 2002
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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Satirical fun that's wasted on children.
GazHack29 September 1999
A splendid satire on the Olympic industry and TV sports programmes. Plenty of recognisable types amongst the furry cast from the gushing bimbo interviewer to an intense USSR gymnast to a deadpan turtle anchorman. The animation is above average for TV but lacks the richness of Bluth or Disney. However that hardly matters because the real pleasure lies in the smart script, engaging vocal performances and first rate character design. Quite a lot of the more adult humour will sail over the heads of the young but older viewers can watch this movie again and again to pick up on the jokes they missed last time. An extremely underrated cartoon gem.
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A rare and comical cartoon!
MAXXout26 August 1999
Animalympics, one of the very few movies directed by Steven Lisberger. Featuring the voices of Billy Crystal and the late Gilda Radner, adding their classic touch to several characters in the film.

Story is about animals all over the world gathering for an Olympic event. With striking similarities to events and people from the Olympics in the 70's.

The whole film begins and ends like a televised Olympic event. With several music-video like scenes here and there. The animation is good, done in that classic 70's style American animation. The cartoon animation style is comparable to Ralph Bakshee and Don Bluth movies.
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My memories's of Animalympics
mytown9813630 June 2006
When I was about 6 I saw the cartoon Animalympics on HBO. My family just got cable and I seemed to be the most interested in the medium. VCR's were fairly new and my uncle the pr*ck got us one for Christmas. I took the machine over and recorded the movie. I loved everything about it. I only loved one more movie as much.... Time Bandits.... I always felt like I was the only person who'd ever seen it. I recite scenes and some of the one liners i've made my own over the years. I don't know who most of the well known voices acted out were but I definitely know Gilda Radners as Barbra Wobblers( Barbara Walters). Not as corny as it sounds now back then.Every voice is perfect for the characters. Some of the perfect characters are, Keen Hacksaw, Bruce Kwokimoto,Kit Mambo, Kurt Wuffner, the Calimari Bros and the breakfast of champions.... Gecko Flakes. Never forget the Five rings of the paw print that make up the animalympic symbol. If you remember this movie and need more retro animation that isn't animated like sh*t, watch "rock and rule". I got sh*t that'll blow your mind....
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Underrated gem!
xxlittlekittenxx27 February 2003
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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As the Athens 2004 Olympics is approaching
shu-fen8 April 2004
The theme song by 10CC (Graham Gouldman) "Love's not for me" from time to time rings inside my head the past twenty odd years. The melody is lovely and the lyrics is subtle.

I remember I watched this family movie with my mom, my sister and my brother in the small cinema house located inside our housing project. Of course I do remember the scenes and the story but I don't know the voices of Billy Crystal, Michael Fremer, Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer because the voice-over was done by the local professionals in Cantonese. In addition, I was about ten and still learning English, if it were in English, how could I understand it. ^_^.

Another real Olympics is right about the corner, a few good moments for reminiscence is appropriate. Looking back, the travesty is a great one for family, at least I still remember how happy we felt after having seen it two and a half decades ago.
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A good movie
uruguayita_mimosa5 February 2005
I have just seen this movie, on TV. Saturday, drinking tea, and using the remote control hoping for a miracle in channel 12 of Montevideo, Uruguay. And it appears!!... This is a very nice movie, you can laugh, think, cry and find references to events, characters, behaviors of many people at their time. And seeing on 2005, after how comics and cartoons have evolved it is a pleasure. It was a pity that I could not enjoy Billy Cristal's voice cause it was in Spanish. It contains many jokes, references to particular historical situations. It portraits quite well the life of athletes and how maybe they give all their life such in gymnastics. I really enjoy this " before born" joke about her.
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A great parody
Figaro-87 April 2000
"Animalympics" is a great parody of the Olympics. It actually combines two events into one, as both winter and summer sports are presented. The animation is okay, but not the best. However, the clever script and voices by Gilda Radner, Billy Crystal, Harry Shearer and Michael Fremer more than make up for it. The music, by Graham Gouldman of the group "10cc," is wonderful. (I was fortunate enough to find a copy of it on vinyl and I have been a happy person ever since.) Well worth watching.
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Better Than...
BetaEtaPi22 December 2005
When I was younger this video was in the local grocery store's limited children's section (way before Blockbuster was on the scene), I probably had my parents rent Animalympics at least once a month. With the usual childhood fervor, I was obsessed with the characters/music.

It does have a lot of adult topical humor along side the kiddie goes to prove Shrek, although a good movie, isn't as "revolutionary" as some claim it to be...Animalypmics does it with with out relying on sexual double ententes or mocking the easy target of Disney.

The soundtrack is also all original and highly creative.
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A great animated video...
Devls126 August 2001
I have watched this movie so many times, I still watch it to this day. The character impersonations are great, and the athletes are a real trip, too. And for 1979, the animators did a great job with the movie! Definitely a recommended movie for all young and old!
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Hearing the voices of Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner, and Harry Shearer in Animalympics was quite a treat here
tavm30 July 2013
Continuing to review "SNL"ers early work on film, we're now at 1980 with the television showing of the animated Animalympics. A 30-min. version of the Winter Games segment had originally been shown on NBC during the actual Winter Olympics on ABC but when the Summer Games (held in Moscow, Russia at that time) were boycotted by our country, that effectively cancelled the airing of the Summer Games ep of this movie. HBO eventually showed the whole thing a year later for multiple airings. Anyway, then-current members of the "SNL" cast Gilda Radner and Harry Shearer as well as future member Billy Crystal were among the voices that contributed here and what a treat to hear Radner as her Baba Wawa character as well as Crystal as Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali ones. Aided greatly by the musical songs of Graham Gouldman of 10cc with the whole thing put together by Steven Lisberger who would later helm TRON. Many quite funny visual gags abound and there's a feel good vibe throughout especially concerning a couple of opposite sex runners that permeates the whole thing. So on that note, I very much enjoyed Animalympics.
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Hidden treasure
MartianOctocretr523 August 2010
Beatfully executed parody of the Olympic games, with animated animals as the athletes, coaches, sports announcers and other characters. Imitation is the sincerest form of adulation, and this affectionate satire is as much a tribute as it is a satire to the Games.

All the signature elements that we've seen over the years of network coverage of the Olympics are sent up in sweet and playful fashion, and the animal versions of the wide array of both Summer and Winter events are applied ingeniously. Even those bio/interview spots they always do on athletes to show you the arrogant, the hopeful, the ones who "carry the dreams of a nation," and so on; it's all here.

It's put together to mirror the real thing so well, with some amusing and lovable characters. Gilda Radner's classic Bawbwa Wawa impression is utilized perfectly as a wacky sportscaster, and the voice talents doing Jim McKay and Howard Cosell had them down perfectly. Many of the athletes are colorful and cleverly written in spite of their brief screen appearances. Probably best is the recurring marathon story which eventually unfolds a sweet subplot with a cool and unexpected happy ending.

Copies are hard to find; but this rare treasure is worth the looking.
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Echdrum17 July 2006
One of my all time favorites.

This is great for kids of all ages AND adults. It has Ice Hockey, Marathon, track, Skiing, bob-sled, ice skating, field events; hammer throw/shot put/poll vault/etc] , Soccer, field hockey, disco dancing, fashion modeling, swimming, gymnastics/horse/u.parallel bars /floor routine, Fencing, Boxing, and more. It also shows great sportsmanship, Love, friendship, honour, diversity of countries, - oh just go get this movie!

The music in it will stay with you.

This movie truly is already a classic. Not because it is 26 years old, but because it is so great and there are no others like it.

I also recommend, "Dot & the Kangaroo" & "Emmett Otter's Jug band Christmas"

Be well fellow humans.
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awesome movie
fuzy_white_strawberries9 November 2003
This is one of my favorite movies, and I'm surprised not that many people have seen it. I love the music and the plot.It's not long, and since it's in sections, can easily hold a child's attention. I am so lucky that I found this at a flea market, now all i need is the soundtrack.
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A showcase for impressive animation, this material was clearly never meant to be a feature film.
IonicBreezeMachine2 July 2021
A series of vignettes are presented as the broadcast of the first animal Olympic Games through the fictional ZOO television network. The Games are staples of the summer and winter Olympic events.

Produced and directed by Steven Lisberger, Animalympics was intended to cut in with NBC's coverage of the Olympic games where every so often the Olympic Games commentators would break from their coverage by saying "let's check in on how the animals are doing" or something to that effect. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan Jimmy Carter boycotted the Moscow held Olympic games and NBC scrapped their coverage and airing of Animalympics. Animalympics was structured in such a way that it could be shown theatrically as a film and was shown as such in overseas markets. No distribution agreement ever happened for Animalympics in North America and aside from some airings on cable TV and VHS releases it never made much impact. The film did boast some early work by animation specialist who would go on to bigger work such as Brad Bird, Roger Allers, and Bill Koyer and as expected there's some really good animation on display. While technically speaking Animalympics is a nice looking production with above average animation, it's also a flabby directionless mess with no driving engine and many of the events are lacking in identity because they feel like (and are) a series of shorts based on formula that don't lend themselves to a feature film format.

Animalympics does technically have characters as the "athletes" are given talking head segments where they discuss their backstory or personalities. One of the few that standout is an alligator named Bolt Jenkins who's a strange hybrid of Bruce Jenner and John Travolta (complete with a similar delivery to Travolta's Welcome Back Kotter role) and it's more head scratching than genuinely funny. Other athletes are more or less the same with Eurasian Athletes being parodies of typical Soviet archetypes and other athletes being less engaging. Connecting the segments is color commentary by voice actors such as Harry Shearer, Gilda Radner, and Billy Crystal doing parodies of Barbara Walters and Howard Cosell which are done well enough but their not all that funny or unique. The one element I can say is good without reservation are the musical segments where the film showcases the most impressive animation sequences alongside some fairly good music (as far as adult contemporary goes).

It's probably unfair to judge Animalympics as a movie since it was intended to be shown chopped up in 5 to 10 minute segments in between the actual Olympics, but because it was released as a movie it needs to be judged as one. Animalympics is style over substance with good animation in service of what's rather traditional cartoon antics with basic satire of the 70s Cold War geopolitical climate. As a time capsule and point of interest for animation enthusiasts I can recommend it on that level, but most of the vignettes are so similar there will be long stretches where even the most patient viewer's patience will be tested.
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My favorite animated movie! The music makes it.
drfeelawesome27 March 2021
My memories of Animalympics: great movie, love story, fun, amazing music. I'm listening to the soundtrack now, and singing along with every song. Graham Gouldman really put out music that Disney could only dream about until Elton John and Phil Collins helped them out.

How many people that worked on this amazing movie ended up working with Disney? Quite a few. Spectacular all around. It was great introducing the kids to it. Comes up in conversation with them sometimes when they visit.

Definitely give it a watch.
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Not comparable.....
YouKnowMyName689 October 2005
Miguel A. Lopez Jr. the animation is NOT comparable to Ralph Bakshi or Don Bluth. Before you make statements like that, please, do so after carefully observing the different styles from Nelvana against Ralph Bakshi which is different and not altogether not that cool looking and Don Bluth which it too has its own look which is very different from the style of Nelvana. Again, the animation style is NOT comparable. Your not very good at distinguishing styles or noticing contrasts. I can see that now. Nelvana has a visual style and animation quality that I wished they had maintained throughout the years. This is a company I had hoped would ascend and make interesting feature length movies in genres such as fantasy or science-fiction. So, for they've made a few good animation shorts, such as 'A cosmic Christmas'.
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Now Is The Time For Champions..
bml8415 August 2010
An almost forgotten and always underrated gem that bridges the 70s & 80s, the character and music of the former with the knowingness and personal excess of the latter, best demonstrated by excellent caricatures of sporting figures and commentators who are as interested in selling themselves as much as the events.

Definitely one for those who love nostalgia, as it would take a basic knowledge of the era to get many of the jokes, but should still be colourful enough to engross the young.

Here in the UK it seems linked with memories of 80's School Holidays, as ITV would occasionally show it as a morning matinée. Something about it really stuck in the memory (as shown by the amount of UK reviews) and I never forgot the closing tune.

All in all, it sums up a certain time and place in a way few (if any) animated movies do, and is well worth seeking out.

Prepare to feel the endless optimism and simple hopes of childhood again.
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Great Aminated Film!
ppamjo223 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was one of the lucky Kids to have HBO in the late 70s and this movie was really big at our home. Even my father loved the film! This film is like a spoof on the Olympics and it really showcases the voice talents of Billy Crystal and the late Gilda Radner.

This film really focuses on detail as with Dean Wilson driving a van! I find this film to be for mun then the real thing. The real stand out though is the music...

Graham Gouldman really outdid himself with some real slamming tunes. I have a Mint copy of the LP and a copy on cassette and it really fits the film nicely.

There are also spoofs of some famous people of the time as well, but the film is a real fun treat that the little ones can enjoy again and again. I hope that there is a DVD release in the future... This film should have gotten better treatment when it was first released...
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Now that we made it, we made it to the top.
ravsten42819 July 2011
So with the Winter Olympics in Sochi upon us I thought I would take time to write about this film involving an Olympic them with animated animals over 34 years ago.

Animalympics, the story of animals competing in the Olympics and the backgrounds to their life story play out well. Some great segments of the movie involve an octopus bobsledding team, a California surfing otter named Dean Wilson and my personal favorite, a foot race involving Rene Fromage (a goat) and Kit Mambo (a lioness). If you haven't seen the film just take a guess at what will happen to them while competing together.

The songs are good as well. Former 10CC lead singer Graham Gouldman gives his voice to the songs.

My only complaint with the movie is the excessive use of stereotypes. Other than that a good film to watch on a chill day.
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not a gem, but not bad either
fast2miler95615 May 2005
I first saw this film on the Disney Channel circa 1993. I was about 7 years old at the time, I remember it was right after Disney Channel had aired "Barcelona '92: 16 Days of Glory", meaning I had Olympics on the brain when I first saw it, a bit of a bias. I was enthralled by it at first, the whole film had a kind of surreal, mesmerizing quality to it and the music was great as well. Of course I had no idea who Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer, Michael Fremer, Graham Gouldman were. After seeing the film several years later, I thought it had its flaws, and some dialogue and scenes were questionable to say the least for young viewers. All of the spoofs on the old TV personalities like Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, Pele, Jackie Stewart and Barbera Walters were rather funny. This film basically took the same approach as "Animaniacs", making the humor appealing to kids, while at the same time adding an element of satire, to appeal to the older generation. While this film is by no means a stroke of genius, it has its many flaws (compounded by the fact that it was never theatrically released because of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980), it is definitely worth a look.
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jamalionerf29 January 2003
I LIKE THE LIZARD IN THIS ONE! He looks so real, like he Came to normal (or something like that). The music is so nice! everything! it looks so believe, like you believe it, or something (like this one). I recommending it? YES!!!!!! GO TO WATCH!! YOU WON'T DISSAPOINTING!!!!
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