Monday, 22 December 2008

The Great Rupert

And the prize for the least festive picture/post goes to... Chip! Yay me!

Signing off for Christmas now, but not before I share the most disturbing Christmas movie (or any movie, come to that) ever made. Presenting The Great Rupert, (or A Christmas Wish), starring the late Jimmy Durante. Most of the commentary on this film would have you believe that it’s perfect Christmas fodder, a modest, inoffensive little movie that the whole family can enjoy.

Except that... it isn’t.

The film begins with washed-up vaudeville performer Joe Mahoney playing the accordion and singing a song about "Rupert", while Rupert the squirrel (dressed in a plaid kilt) dances on a table.

There’s no doubt that the blend of stop frame animation and puppetry was innovative for its time (1950), but there’s something just downright strange about this opening sequence. It’s akin to something from a Jan Svankmajer animation, but presented within the innocuous context of a family movie. Not that it’s meant to be disturbing, mind you – which, in a strange way, makes it even more disturbing. I lasted all of five minutes before I had to turn it off. Brrr (then again, I find Bagpuss vaguely disturbing as well). Perhaps it’s the jerky stop frame animation that does it. Add a touch of taxidermy to the mix however, and The Great Rupert will give you nightmares for months.

I couldn’t find any clips of the opening sequence, but there are a few stills here.

More old bullshit after Christmas – until then, have a good one.

No comments: