Videos

Terry Gilliam’s first animated film, Storytime

Posted March 24th, 2012

Animation, England, Videos


Terry Gilliam’s funny debut film, Storytime, features three early examples of the Monty Python animator’s twisted take on life. The film is usually dated 1968, but according to some sources it was actually put together several years later. The closing segment, “A Christmas Card,” was created in late 1968 for a special Christmas-day broadcast of the children’s program Do Not Adjust Your Set, but the other two segments– “Don the Cockroach” and “The Albert Einstein Story”–were broadcast on the 1971-1972 British and American program The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine, which featured Gilliam’s Pythonesque animation sequences at the beginning and end of each show.

Terry Gilliam Teaches Cut-Out Animation

“Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam discussing his animation techniques on Bob Godfrey’s Do-It-Yourself Animation Show in 1974. Godfrey’s show, which made animation accessible to the masses by taking the mystery out of the production process, was vastly influential and inspired an entire generation of kids in England, including Nick Park, who created Wallace & Gromit, Jan Pinkava, who directed the Pixar short Geri’s Game, and Richard Bazley, an animator on Pocahontas, Hercules, and The Iron Giant. In a day and age when more kids are interested in animating than ever before, it’s a shame that TV shows (or Web series) that are fun and informative like this don’t exist. The DIY advice that Gilliam gives in this episode is not only brilliant, but still as relevant today as back then:
“The whole point of animation to me is to tell a story, make a joke, express an idea. The technique itself doesn’t really matter. Whatever works is the thing to use.”