Twice Upon a Time

reviewed by Karl Johanson

Being the founder and president unelect for life of the Victoria
Dark Star Appreciation Society, I greatly enjoyed meeting Brian Narelle (Lt.
Dolittle) at Norwescon 6 (wouldn't you know it I didn't have my rubber
chicken with me). He was at the con with a behind scenes look at the
upcoming animated movie Twice Upon A Time.
Twice Upon A Time, which intersperses live action and animation,
featured paper cutout animation as opposed to drawn or painted animation.
Several thousand small paper eyes, heads, hands, bodies and such were
meticulously placed on the background for each frame. Mr. Narelle managed to
convey how much of an exercise in patience this was with a brief story. He
slowly opened the door to one of the animation rooms (you had to open them
slowly or all of the paper cutout bits flew everywhere) and walked over to
the animator working there. The animator, a rather large Viet Nam vet was
hunched over his light table grabbing eyes and hands and such with his fine
tweezers. "How are things going", Mr. Narelle asked the animator. The
animator slowly looked up at him and said, "this is worse then Nam." Brian
Narelle said he just backed up and slowly closed the door.
Twice Upon A Time didn't reach many movie theaters. For several
years I asked video rental stores if they could get a copy of it in to no
avail. John (co-editor John) finally spotted a copy in his video club and
snagged me one.
The story takes place in the part of the universe where dreams are
created. Pleasant dreams are created in XXX while nightmares are created at
the Murkeworks by synonymous Botch. Botch has plans to have his nightmare
delivering vultures capture all of the pleasant dream delivering figmen,
thus insuring that humans (or Rushers as they're referred to) will only have
nightmares. The protagonists, "Ralph the multipurpose animal" and the mute
"Mumford" enlist the aid of "Ron Rescue Person" and a fairy godmother, to
stop Botch and to free the figmen.
Unfortunately the story seems to fit the never never land of, a
little too "childish" for most adult audience members, and a trifle
"inappropriate" for younger viewers. However fans of animation should keep
their eyes open for this.

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