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And now for something completely animated
June 22, 2013 10:17 PM   Subscribe

All of Terry Gilliam's animation bits from Monty Python's Flying Circus: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 (SLYT, NSFW)
posted by Room 641-A (31 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's not "single link", is it? "Our four greatest weapons are..."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:20 PM on June 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


This way lies madness. Tasty tasty madness.
posted by dry white toast at 10:24 PM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gave it a brief try, thinking that perhaps my opinion of Gilliam has changed since last inspected, but no, it's the same:

Terry Gilliam is by far the worst part of Python, but simultaneously by far the best thing to come out of Python.
posted by Flunkie at 10:24 PM on June 22, 2013


So, you're saying you DON'T own the Nearly Departed box set?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:55 PM on June 22, 2013


Gilliam was my gateway into Python.
My parents would let us sleep in the "TV Room" on Friday nights in the late-mid-70's.
I was probably 8 or so years old, my brother is 5 years older. We'd build forts with the couch cushions and then lie there in the blue glow of Monty Python's Flying Circus, which he knew about somehow, and had changed the channel to at 10pm; Channel 17 on the Buffalo PBS station. He'd explain but I wouldn't understand most of it; the British accents made me bored and sleepy and they always seemed to be talking about philosophers or history or stuff like that. But then these crazy animations would come on that I just loved, they were so bizarre and twisted. And hilarious. And silly. And they would take the show in a completely different direction, a fun direction. I loved how the show didn't start right away, like a normal TV show; stuff would happen for a bit and then you'd see the "It's.." old man and the animation would start. And how, often, it ended but then it wasn't really over, sometimes the ending was fake...this made me think that any actual real show after it was part of the joke. It was sort of like a visual, TV-Show equivalent of the Beatles, if that makes any sense. It had the same sensibility to me, at that age.
Also sometimes there would be boobs which was kind of strange and interesting to me.
Anyway, as years passed I got more into the show part of the show, but never lost my appreciation for the Gilliam animations and transitions. An integral part, I would say.
Cool post.
posted by chococat at 10:56 PM on June 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


For me, this is the apex of culture. The apex. Of culture.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:59 PM on June 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I simultaneously love Terry Gilliam so much and find his work hilarious and kind of worry about him sometimes.
posted by theredpen at 11:03 PM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I owned a copy. And I lost it. Lost it, my preciousssss!
posted by hat_eater at 11:16 PM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gilliam's animation is such an intergral part of the Python experience. It's like a little palate cleanser between courses. Weirder even than a lot of the sketches, like having a shot of ether between glasses of wine at a tasting.
posted by Jilder at 11:34 PM on June 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


If it was physiologically possible, I would most probably have Gilliam's babies, just to make sure his brilliance goes on.
posted by Samizdata at 12:21 AM on June 23, 2013


Every Monty Python episode was a deeply written integrated thing. It seems like it's completely random, but an analytical mind will see that it is not. And Gilliam's animations often tie things together in ways which help draw the line.

I will watch these compiled collections, but expect that they are going to be lacking in the same way that any Python bit is lacking without its surrounding material.
posted by hippybear at 12:47 AM on June 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every Monty Python episode was a deeply written integrated thing. It seems like it's completely random, but an analytical mind will see that it is not. And Gilliam's animations often tie things together in ways which help draw the line.

My understanding is that the shooting script usually just had at most one line to the effect that a Terry G. animation of some sort would appear at this point. In practice they often managed to segue cleanly, by starting the animation with some element from the end of the preceding sketch, and integrating the end of the animation with the start of the next sketch; but you get the distinct impression that exactly how to do this and everything in between was left entirely to him, except for the voice acting (and he often did that himself too). The later series (and especially the last one without Cleese) are a bit more structured in the way you describe but for the most part it's just "Terry G. does something here".
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:09 AM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that is how the shooting scripts went, but each episode is deeply integrated, and Gilliam was doing things which fed into that integration.
posted by hippybear at 1:16 AM on June 23, 2013


Gilliam was my gateway into Python.

Gilliam was my gateway to really loving and understanding animation, at least, the things I appreciate about animation as an art form.

I was a kid in a time when we still had Saturday Morning Cartoons. I have to say, there were a lot of them I didn't like. I liked the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, and enjoyed things like Schoolhouse Rock, but a lot of cartoons that were made specifically for kids left me cold - they were obviously poorly made, and I felt pandered to and talked down to.

When our PBS station started showing Monty Python's Flying Circus, I recall enjoying the humor of the live action skits, but Gilliam's animation DID something to me. It was dark and weird and funny in a way that I identified as distinctly adult, while retaining a childlike silliness. I knew there were a lot of jokes and references I didn't get, but I enjoyed the aesthetic tremendously.It was both very simple and highly sophisticated at the same time. It was funny in a particular way, and... it felt good to watch.

I don't know how to say it any other way, as I dig down and try to analyze why I bonded so strongly with Gilliam's work. He was using cartoons to communicate humorous ideas in a way that was different than the narrative cartoons to which I was accustomed and the toyandcereal ads to which I had become inured, and it FASCINATED me, and it still does.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:18 AM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've just glanced through them and I don't think these can possibly be all of them. For one thing the total running time is less than an hour; which is about what I'd expect from the first season alone. Second, it seems to be basically early stuff, most of it more primitive and free-associative than his later material. I'm looking for examples of specific later things and not finding them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:38 AM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I started watching this, and had to stop. This is not to be wasted by watching it alone and sober on my little laptop. This will be enjoyed on a bigger screen, with my boyfriend, after a few shots of something goofy, like tequila. And it is going to be amazing.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:28 AM on June 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Terry Gilliam is by far the worst part of Python
posted by Flunkie at 6:24 AM on June 23


You, sir, are quite wrong. As someone who watched the original Python broadcasts as a kid I can tell you that I and most Python fans of the time thought those anarchic and surreal cut-up animations were one of the best parts of the show. The way Gilliam used classical references right alongside old photographs, his own silly drawings and whatever other bizarre and often incongruous images he could find, and combined them in short explosions of inspired and off-the-wall silliness was something quite new and often exhilarating, not to mention wildly funny.

I still crack up at this.
posted by Decani at 2:47 AM on June 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I still hope that Gilliam will finish The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Netflix streaming has Lost in La Mancha about this.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:29 AM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder what would happen if Gilliam did a Kickstarter for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:43 AM on June 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


There would be rain, lots of rain.
posted by arcticseal at 5:42 AM on June 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


We've been watching Python episodes with our kids. They love that stuff, and it's kind of amazing how well both the TV show and the animations stand up after all this time. "Arthur Pewty?"

Having said that, there does seem to be a conspiracy in the movie industry to never, ever give Gilliam large sums of money again. Could a Kickstarter raise the hundreds of millions necessary for him to really let loose?
posted by sneebler at 7:14 AM on June 23, 2013


When I was a wee little girl watching Python and not quite understanding why I thought it was funny, or why I really liked watching the one man who shrieked, "Poke her with the soft cushions!", my first reaction to seeing Conrad Poohs and his Dancing Teeth was "What?" Then I succumbed to the silliness of the Prince dying of "GANGRENE". The People-eating Baby in a Carriage is what sealed the deal, though. And I learned the Domino theory of tooth decay early on, so thanks to Terry G for contributing to my A in American History 1950-Present class in 10th grade and my awesome dental check-ups today.

Those cartoons were just beyond what my 7 year old mind could easily grasp, but in a way that made it grow and create connections to abstract concepts, and they were funny. Perhaps their playful illogic was what made them funny to me. I'm not sure which one I was watching one evening when my two-years-older cousin looked at the screen, then at me and said (sotto voce, so his mother wouldn't hear), "What the fuck is this shit?" before walking away. Eh, he was more of a Benny Hill kid, as most boys I knew then were.
_______
Here's one of a definitely sacrilegious nature from a US print that had been cut in the UK by the BBC after its first airing from the 2nd series episode featuring the "Crackpot Religions" sketch. Seeing it as an adult, I was like, Whoa, nelly! That it aired at all is amazing.
posted by droplet at 7:45 AM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do you call it "animation"? I thought this was the real thing.
posted by Namlit at 7:51 AM on June 23, 2013


Also I notice this only uses the first and second series title sequence (both start with flowers but are different after that). The third and fourth are absent. And I haven't spotted any other animations from those latter series here at all.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:32 AM on June 23, 2013


Then I succumbed to the silliness of the Prince dying of "GANGRENE".

That originally was "cancer", but the BBC censors decided that wasn't funny (they were more than a little inconsistent and capricious) and made them change it. So the Pythons decided to make the edit as obvious as possible by using a completely different voice. When the sketch was redone for the And Now For Something Completely Different feature version, it's "cancer" again.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:38 AM on June 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now I feel like I've just been to a party and eaten the icing off all the cupcakes.
posted by flabdablet at 8:58 AM on June 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


The word 'Crelm' can still send me into a fit of uncontrollable giggles. This is wonderful.
posted by mintcake! at 9:34 AM on June 23, 2013


‘All of my films have really been statements about America’: The wonderful world of Terry Gilliam
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on June 23, 2013


louche mustachio: I liked the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, and enjoyed things like Schoolhouse Rock, but a lot of cartoons that were made specifically for kids left me cold - they were obviously poorly made, and I felt pandered to and talked down to.

Same here. The thing is the juxtaposition with the classic Warner Bros. material. It remains the best animation ever done, effortlessly funny, using music in an integral way without having it overwhelm the material, just incredibly good. Everything else pales before it.

When our PBS station started showing Monty Python's Flying Circus, I recall enjoying the humor of the live action skits, but Gilliam's animation DID something to me. It was dark and weird and funny in a way that I identified as distinctly adult, while retaining a childlike silliness.

That's me too. Seconded on all counts.
posted by JHarris at 6:14 PM on June 23, 2013


So the Pythons decided to make the edit as obvious as possible by using a completely different voice.

That change in voice is the funniest part! Right at the moment the tone of the animation changed, the voice does too.
posted by JHarris at 6:24 PM on June 23, 2013


I remember walking out of the movie theater after seeing Brazil with my mother (a theatre director). "The man is brilliant," she said. "And I am SO glad I don't live inside his head."
posted by Lexica at 5:46 PM on July 4, 2013


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