A few favourite animal films
In my last blog post I wrote about the traditional animal stories which inspired me to create 64 Zoo Lane. It is not just books that influenced me though…
Here are a few of my favourite films and TV programmes featuring animals. Some are very well-known and others obscure. First, two animated shorts I was introduced to when I was a student:
Caroline Leaf ‘s tragic ‘The Owl who married a Goose’. This film was animated using sand on glass.
Yuri Norstein’s atmospheric ‘Hedgehog in the Fog’. This is a slow, absorbing film, a simple tale masterly told. I also love Norstein’s ‘Tale of Tales’ which features a wolf cub.
The Jungle Book is one of my all-time favourite Disney features. This is the Kaa hypnosis scene.
The Lion King was released at around the same time I started work on the pilot episode of 64 Zoo Lane. Suddenly, savannah animals were ‘in’. This is one of the few films I have seen three times on the big screen. My daughter likes to do a ‘Simba’ with our geriatric cat. This involves holding the cat aloft while singing “Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala”.
And finally, a Dutch language clip of a pre-school TV programme I used to watch every evening as a young child in Belgium: De Fabeltjeskrant ‘The Fables Times’.
There is no doubt this programme influenced me. The storytelling format of fables is similar to that of 64 Zoo Lane. However, I was not my favourite programme when I was a child; that honour must go to Colargol. And as an adult I still feel ambiguous about De Fabeltjeskrant; I find the morals rather overpowering.