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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Influences 02

I've squawked over and over again about the influence of Tove Jansson on my work.
I found this quote from her today.
It reflects entirely my own thoughts, which is probably why I will never have a children's book published.
It's also part of the base philosophy for my Boxhead and Roundhead films.

"In a children’s book there must be a path where the author stands still and the child walks on. A threat or a wonder that is never explained. A face that never shows itself entirely."


I've written about my influences many times on this blog and I shall mention another.

For non-Australians, SBS was a television channel that was started to support the massive influx of migrants to the country.
Foreign folks could find the Greek news, the Italian news, news from Korea - the broadcast from the nation of origin.
Soapies from Israel.
Children's afternoon drama in French.

I recall seeing what I think was the Iranian version of The Nanny during the 80s.
SBS always ran on a low band channel and it wasn't always easy to tune the telly to but if you had rabbit ears or a rooftop aerial pointing in the right direction you could pick it up.

When I was a kid the SBS network played a block of animation for several hours on a Sunday afternoon.
I recall very little about it other than it was, I think 3 or 4 hours worth.
I remember a Japanese cartoon, maybe done in cut-outs, about 7 sea dragons.
And I remember, in particular, a thing called the Yxilon Show which was a kind of low budget Muppet Show.
I've spent years looking for clips and info about it online but haven't ever found a scrap until I realised that I'd been spelling "Yxilon" incorrectly.
A recent search revealed a bunch of clips online.
These clips are all in German but I always thought the show was Russian.
Perhaps someone out there can confirm this.

I watch these clips and can tell why I liked the show.
It seemed extremely foreign and distant to a 7 year old in Australia (the other side of the world).
I knew nobody else was watching it - I'd ask at school - and that was very appealing to me.
To this day I'm also looking for something new, something interesting, something that isn't being played on Saturday morning - I hated those cartoons.
I'm also very receptive to charm and art being combined in children's entertainment - something that is rarely produced in the USA.
So here are some clips.
I recall nothing other than it was hosted by a couple of simply blobby puppets and featured mostly musical numbers.
I could have sworn the show was Russian but it seems to all be in German here.
None of these are subtitled but if you know any Germans they can translate for you.
Enjoy the clips, lah di dah.

The opening titles that include a snippet of music from The Wizard of Oz.
How strange.
At about the 3 minute mark is a lovely bit where a kind of monkey sloth thing plays The Entertainer on the piano.

Some worm acapella.

At the beginning of this clip is a lovely hippo and towards the end an example of my favorite sketch - a recurring bit of business between a spider and a fly.

These are the closing titles.
The names seem mostly German so perhaps it was, after all.
Although maybe it's a German dub of a Russian show...
They are extremely jolly and signified the very end of the SBS international animation afternoon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

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