Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Alison Snowden and Canadian David Fine "George and Rosemary"

George and Rosemary (NFB) was made in 1987 by Alison Snowden from the UK and Canadian, David Fine. They are best known for their adult series, running to 52 episodes, Bob and Margaret. If you have seen Alison’s Oscar nominated movie, Second Class Mail, featured on the Animation Blog, you will recognise the style immediately. The late Cec Linder provided the richly delivered narration of a very fine script for the story of George Edgecombe who lives opposite the grandmother, Rosemary, and bears a secret passion for the lady. Sitting on his front porch he watches her comings and goings, outwardly respectable but inwardly conceiving fantasies involving cruise ships and, most passionate of all, ballroom dancing. He watches her rounded figure leave and arrive, is thwarted in his mission to woo her by the arrival of her horde of grandchildren. The humour and the cartoony drawings are, for all David's Canadian background, quintessentially British - David and Alison were students together in Britain at the National Film and Television School - and anyone who has seen any work by contemporary Nick Park will instantly be at home with the characters. There is something lovably eccentric about the woman who bestows such love on her pet fish, a man who spruces up his bow tie for the moment of truth, fortifies himself with a "nice plate of bacon and eggs" prior to his big moment, fantasises about ballroom dancing, and even the pinny thrown over the goldfish bowl at a particularly intimate moment. The ending is not a surprise but part of the delicious warmth of it all. In the past few days I have treated myself to some animation delights. This is a very funny movie, charmingly drawn, slickly animated and fresh as a spring day. The movie was also nominated for an Oscar though the pair had to wait for Bob's Birthday in 1995 for the success their class deserved. Another post on that movie shortly. In the meantime their website is a treat.

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