Saturday, 12 January 2019

Found: Skywhales


 I happen to have a spare five minutes, so in the spirit of "A Town That Cannot Always Be Found and Other Almost Forgotten Tales", may I present the happy ending of decades spent thinking about and searching for an animated film that I saw in my very young youth during the early-mid 1980s.

 Here it is: Skywhales, a 1983 British animated short, starring the vocal talents of Robert Llewellyn (AKA Kryten from Red Dwarf).  It's only 10 mins 41 long if you fancy a look.



 The only thing I could remember about it was some sort of dying airborne whale falling down a big hole or chasm and getting wrapped in bandages like a mummy.  And you'll see that what I remembered was a bit back-to-front, but the general gist was right.

::

 I might as well also mention the Time Masters, or Les Maîtres du temps (as it is called in its original French) from 1982, too. I rediscovered this, rather longer animation, two or three years ago after various recollections of a little boy named Piel managing to escape from some giant wasps, then being guided across some alien landscape to safety (via a radio or communications device) by some people on a spaceship or space station.  I also remembered a giant waterlily flower opening and releasing hundreds of fairies, and an old man on the space station (one of Piel's remote rescuers) dying after a fifty year time jump or something (and the revelation of who he was, which I'm not going to spoil in case anyone wants to watch it).



 The video above is the only one I could find on YouTube in English, and is not as long as it seems as the film ends at 1:14:00 (or thereabouts) before starting again.  Here's a link to the Hungarian (I think) version which seems to be about the right length (I haven't watched it all).

 Have any of you had any success in finding half-remembered childhood films, cartoons or books?


24 comments:

  1. Ok, that was most definitely bizarre. Reminds me of a cartoon we had here called Barbapapa ,that when asked no one remembers it. Barbapap

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    1. We had Barbapapa too! Hang on let me check the link....
      Sx

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    2. I think I might be getting muddled with Babar the Elephant!
      Sx

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    3. Oh yes, we did have Babar the Elephant too. Both were if I recall on our PBS.

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    4. I used to love Babar the Elephant!
      Sx

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    5. I loved Barbapapa when I was a kid! [Useless trivia: both Babar and Barbapapa were originally French; indeed Barbapapa ("beard of my father") is French for cotton candy or candy floss.] Jx

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    6. I remember Barbapapa! But, I think from books rather than cartoons or the like? I remember Babar the Elephant, too - but Barbapapa was my favourite of the two.

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  2. As for programmes from my childhood that haunt me, there is obviously The Singing Ringing Pear Tree.... which I have since found. And then there is a cartoon from about 1978-1980 called Rome-0 and Julie-8. It was shown one Christmas, and I've never seen it since. And from the late sixties, and shown as part of the Watch With Mother series, there was a programme about a little girl called Lizzie who wore a dress decorated with a huge daisy on the front of dress which would grant her wishes if she rubbed it. I've never found a reference to that one.
    I wonder how I'm going to spend the rest of my day? Thanks, Mr Devine!
    Also, in his book Number 11, Jonathan Coe writes about someone obsessed about a memory of a long lost programme.... AND now I'm going to have to read this flipping book again, because I was enthralled by this part of the story. AAARRGGGH!!!!!

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    1. ....obviously last time I searched was years ago, and now I've found both!! The old one from the sixties was Bizzy Lizzy. Sigh. All is now well with the world.
      Sx

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    2. If we're off into children's TV nostagia, I loved The Woodentops, Andy Pandy and The Pogles when I was very tiny, then later The Herbs, Camberwick Green and Noggin the Nog... And many more, of course. Jx

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    3. I've just found Romie-0 and Julie-8 on YouTube too, Ms Scarlet. I don't remember it (or any of the others), but it looks like something I would have enjoyed back then.
      I'm glad that I didn't cause you to lose your afternoon - only 10 minutes, it seems (not counting re-reading "Number 11", of course).

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    4. P.S. Fab new avatar, Ms S!

      And, Jon: I used to love Camberwick Green! And have vague recollections of Andy Pandy - was it on telly around the same time as Jackanory?

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  3. I don't know any of the titles mentioned in the post or comments above. Sorry.

    I did once track down a movie I saw only one time in the early 1960s called I Bombed Pearl Harbor. Found it in the early 1990s on VHS tape. Interesting low budget Japanese take on the battles of Pearl Harbor and Midway.

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    1. Wow! To find something like that before the advent of the internet must have made it all the better? Did the Dewy Decimal system play a part in your serach? I never managed to get to grips with our school library - it was always very hit-and-miss.

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  4. I remember a whale falling from the sky, poor sod ...

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    1. Was it synchronised falling with a bowl of petunias, per chance, Mago?

      By the way, welcome back! You made it through Blogger's portal!

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  5. I loved Skywhales, thank you for sharing it. I can easily see why it would stick with you for years.

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    1. It's such a concise, fantastical, yet grounded-in-reality, mirror upon life. I'm glad you enjoyed it, mrpeenee.

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  6. Do you remember this when you was a nipper? Alan Rothwell the presenter was just as creepy as the theme tune. Storybook International, Chocky and Jonny Briggs were all firm favourites of mine but the one I've been looking for without success is Seaview with Yvette Fielding.

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    1. Alan Rothwell was always creepy - as well as that mad stare on Picture Box, he was poor Heather Huntingdon's dodgy husband in Brookside; the one that was addicted to heroin that she threw out and died on a park bench. Jx

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    2. Well, I hadn't remembered it until now. Ug. That creepy music and sinister box.

      * shudders *

      Chocky frightened me silly when I was but small, although I couldn't stop watching it. That and Children of the Dog Star. Oh, and Tripods!
      If Yvette Fielding's hair was as scary in Seaview as it was during Most Haunted, I would definitely have been hiding behind the sofa whenever it was on!

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  7. I meant James and the Magic Torch not Jonny Briggs.

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  8. Nooooo! My therapist had just discharged me from my Jamie and the Magic Torch therapy and now the tune's back in my head!
    Unfortunately I went off TV when my mother got me a bike. She thought I would just ride it round the garden but it allowed my escape and I discovered all sorts of things. Sex, for one. And what is now called urbex.

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Tickle my fancy, why don't you?