directors John Korty, Charles Swenson
This wonderful oddball animated feature showed up on TCM Underground, their dedicated programming of “Midnight Movie” fare, which I never seem to catch in real time but am wont to stumble upon in their On Demand options on Comcast/Xfinity. Actually there is a great bit on this film there. They schedule all kinds of cool movies.
The strange feature was produced by George Lucas and shot in a technique called “Lumage”, which was essentially to 2-D stop-motion animation, which is part and parcel why this film is so unusual-looking. Director John Korty had employed this style in shorts that appeared on Sesame Street, so those of us old enough to recall such things might not find the style all that foreign, but let’s face it, there aren’t many feature-length animated films that look like this one.
It’s a fantasy world in which dreams are manufactured and delivered but so are nightmares. But the guy behind the nightmares wants nightmares to be the only game in town. Ralph, the All-Purpose Animal and his sidekick Mumford step in to fix the situation, which also involves stealing a spring from the “Cosmic Clock”. The clock resides in a “real world” city of Din (seemingly San Francisco in black-and-white) photography.
It’s a strange, cool, charming film whose tone is light and offbeat as well, with Lorenzo Music as the most recognizable voice (Ralph). I really liked it and thought of several other people who I thought would like it as well. The kids were a little less excited about it but enjoyed it pretty well.
I was pleased to have stumbled upon it and am making an effort to keep up with the Joneses at TCM Underground/Movie Morlocks.