Saturday, May 31, 2008

Benny's Bathtub

While searching for information on films that were listed on Wikipedia's List of animated feature length films, I found one film which I'd consider more unusual than good. This film isn't exactly what I'd call unique, either as it is quite unique in concept, but borrows quite heavily from other films and popular culture. From clips posted on youtube, Benny's Bathtub, a popular 1971 Danish film that's virtually unknown outside of Scandinavia and perhaps rightfully so, strikes me as a bizarre psychological but pop cultural children's film with references that go a little over the edge. There's a bizarre starfish character that changes colors like Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat, some unexpected bits of abstract animation that scream Norman McLaren, references to what seems to be The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, and probably eons more I've missed. The whole film is posted on You Tube, but is untranslated(don't let that stop you, because nothing I've seen suggests any sort of comprehensible plot). The film is based off of an also popular Danish children's book, and that's about as far as words can describe this movie, unless somebody bilingual in English and Danish translates it. Here's a song from the movie on You Tube in what seems to be one of the more interesting segments: link

3 comments:

Teater said...

Wauw, why write this when you have absolutely no understanding of the film, the plot or its characters? It is definitely one of the greatest and most innovative animations of its time. many of the ideas have since been stolen just have a look through Bennys bath tub and you will see scenes whom Disneys copied in "the little mermaid". the reason it hasn't been shown that much outside scandinavia can be explained by other cultures fear of showing nudity (the mermaids) and drunkenness (the pirates) in films aimed for children.
It is a very rough story about how a child copes with being alone when his parents are to busy to notice him and adults in general seems to make no sence so he only has his own child imagination to play with witch leads him in to an imaginative world while taking a bath.

GW said...

You'll have to take into account that my view of this film, while I haven't been able to watch it since then, has changed due to being further informed. I saw one video online where that Little Mermaid influence was mentioned and I've got slightly more perspective on the film. I see your point on the cultural aspects which haven't translated well and have kept the film from wider popularity. As for the quality of the story and the film, I'll only be able to give a more fully informed opinion if the film becomes available.

eurodude said...

pretty clear Disney got "very inspired"...

Watch fom 2:45 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIwEjZ6sIRc