Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland


I was going to fix the bike today but ended up getting some other things done; I've "repurposed" the top of a really wobbly folding wooden table to make a new lid for my laundry box / bathroom seat, which is now looking a hell of a lot better, and started backing up some of the analogue-sound laserdiscs to DVD so that I can play them without messing around with cables (for some reason laserdisc players won't play the sound from analogue-only discs through the player's digital output). One of the disks was Queen's Greatest Flix, which is not as good as I thought I remembered, the other was the stop action versions of The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Cinderella. It's a 1982 laserdisc based on children's TV shorts from 1979 and 1981, made by Cosgrove-Hall, a company with a long track record for children's animation. I don't have equipment for a direct video image capture, so the shots that follow come from the DVD I recorded and aren't as good as I'd like since I already had another hour of video on the disk and had to use too high a compression rate - I'm going to have to do it again some time with nothing else on the disk. Both are about half an hour long.

The animation used wooden dolls (I think), claymation, and anything else that suited the needs of the production company. It's occasionally a little slow-moving compared to modern animated film, but works well.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is basically an animated version of the traditional poem and paintings based on it, read by Robert Hardy. The town of Hamelin is infested with rats, a mysterious Piper arrives and offers to get rid of them for a thousand guilders. The mayor and council agree, and he gets rid of the rats... then the council reneges on the deal, and the Piper takes the town's children instead of the money.

The Piper's first appearance:

Confronting the Mayor and council

The Piper starts to summon the children

The children follow the piper out of town

Despite its age the colours are really vibrant and the recording is still extremely clear.

Cinderella uses the same animation techniques, but the colour tends more towards pastels, gauze filters, etc. so clarity isn't always so good. It's the traditional story as told by Perrault, ditching some of the later additions to the story such as Buttons. It does still have the cat, mice, pumpkin, etc. Unusually there's no narration or dialogue, just music.

The wicked stepmother tears up Cinderella's invitation to the ball

Cinderella and the Prince dance at the ball

Cinderella and the Prince at their coronation

Both are very good considering their age - the disk seems to be VERY rare, so if you ever see it, grab it and pass it on to someone who can use it!

Also finally sold my old DVD player!

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