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Neverwhere [the Movie]

“Neverwhere [the Movie]”

1968. 11 min. A 16mm drawn animation and live action. Animation part is sequential animation on tracing paper, 12 frames per second. Live action is only a short prologue and an epilogue for the main animated part. Movie won a C.I.N.E. Golden Eagle and President of Japan Cultural Society trophy and two other awards. (Other movies)

No foreign print exist.

Style: 16 mm drawn animation and live action. Genre: Fantasy/Adventure. Time Span: Present day and fantasy world. Nudity: Full nudity both men and women.
Keywords: Unwanted. Pushed. Sack. Fairy. Portal. Queen. Hero. Magic. Monster. Fight. Kidnap. Fall. Water. Defeat. Prize.
Synopsis [story spoiler]: (Live action) Man is reading a book of A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Co-worker wards off his proposal, and in the end he quits because of non respected work. He finds an sparkling fairy kind of being who draws for him an instruction of transporter. A man builds the device and portal opens. (inside portal: Animation /outside: Live action) A voluptuous girl, a disposed queen asks his help. An evil Lord has stolen a magical Lognar staff from her. She talks a guy over and guy steps into portal. He transforms into an muscular athletic (transformation from Live action to Fully animated figure), and he will be in the imaginary world. The Queen calls him as “Den” and she can materialize things, like weapons. For a hero a guy has to fight a lot, monsters on sea and land. In the end he will meet Gel face to face and takes the Locnar from him and hand it to the Queen. After the deed the guy will be back to his physical life (live action) and the device will be demolished.
Comment: The guy is acted by Richard Corben himself. The boss is his real life boss at that time, Ed Faust at Calvin Productions in Kansas City. Live action is a frame story and it lasts about one thrid of the movie (mostly in the beginning, but also shortly in the end). The movie is well edited, but that is not surprise, because crew at Calvin were happy to help a young animator. The animated scenes are made by Mr. Corben, as is the entire story. Story has meaning and it is very interesting. “Den [I]” comic version is a logical sequel for it, though the film and comics work by themselves. Den in animation version is the uncle of Den in comic version. Mr. Corben said in the forewords of the very first comic version that the idea for the film came from the visual concept of a live actor transforming into an animated drawing before the viewer’s eyes. The entire movie was written around that one scene. Animation was made on tracing paper to eliminate cell expense, and the result works fine. Characters act naturally and actions have enough room to be done. Tracing paper does not spoil the mood, conversely it gives an unique feeling.
Extra: Mr. Corben made over 8,000 drawings for the film [revieled in an interview, The Magic World of Richard Corben by Rudi Franke in Voice of Comicdom #17 (1970)]

Copyright © 2003 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink!
Created: November 25, 2003. Last updated: July 26, 2019 at 12:33 pm

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