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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING ROBOT, ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND and THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER: RECOBLED (1964-1992?)

JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING ROBOT (1967)

An adventure series about a boy and a gigantic flying robot, his computerized friend who performs valiant deeds with his special powers. A composite of live action and animation. This film follows the Japanese tradition of giving children control over deadly robots and arming them with handguns.
Johnny Sokko is initiated as Agent U7 into the heroic Unicorn Agency. When a glowing meteor plummets to earth, Johnny and Jerry (Agent U3) are sent to investigate. The meteor bursts open and a massive metal globe rolls out. "Nucleon" is more than just a rolling wrecking ball -- it sprouts arms, it flies, it destroys obstacles with blinding heat rays! "Help, Giant Robot!" Johnny is knocked out by agents of the Gargoyle Gang, but when he awakens, Johnny commands Giant Robot to demolish the massive globe. Once again, the benevolent Unicorns triumph! Up yours, Guillotine!






GUI DA GUI (ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND)(1980)
This is one of, if not the best Sammo Hung film I have seen. It is just so funny. Sammo plays Courageous Cheung, the man who cant turn down a bet. He gets himself in trouble when his wife and her lover (sammos master) make a bet that they hope will kill him. Cue much slapstick kung-foolery and bizarre goings on. Such as Sammo's hand being possessed and trying to kill him.
There are Hopping corpses, supernatural possession, the gratuitous sacrifice of a chicken, and lots of chanting by Taoist priests.
The films climax is the killer. In order to have enough strength to defeat his enemies Sammo and his wizard mate allow sammo to be possessed by the Monkey god. Sammo takes on the characteristics of a Monkey and kicks a lot of ass, including his wife's.




THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER: RECOBBLED(1964-2002?)
A brief history of The Thief and the Cobbler (released as The Princess and The Cobbler in Australia and South Africa and Arabian Knight in most other countries) is an animated feature film by Canadian animatorRichard Williams, who worked 26 years on the project. Beginning the work in 1964, Williams intended for the film to be his masterpiece, and a milestone in the art of animation. The Thief and the Cobbler was in and out of production for over two decades, until Williams, buoyed by his success as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, signed a deal in 1990 to have Warner Bros. finance and distribute the film. This deal fell through when Williams was unable to complete the film on time. As Warners pulled out, The Completion Bond Company assumed control of the project and had it finished by producer Fred Calvert without Williams.

Two versions of Calvert's completed The Thief and the Cobbler were released; one was issued in Australia and South Africa in 1993 as The Princess and the Cobbler and the other in the United States in 1995 as Arabian Knight, distributed by Miramax Family Films. While both are significantly different from Williams' intended version, the Arabian Knight version included new voice work by actors such as Jennifer Beals, Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Winters. Although the film was not a financial success, the film's history and intent has given it significant cult status among animation professionals and fans.

Video copies of workprints made during Richard Williams' involvement on the project often circulate within animation subcircles. In addition, several different people and collectives, from animation fans to The Walt Disney Company's Roy E. Disney, have initiated restoration projects intended to create a high-quality edit of the film which would mirror Williams' original intent as closely as possible. Because it was in production from 1964 until 1995, a total of 31 years, The Thief and the Cobbler holds the record for having the longest production time for a motion picture in history.

The film was the final appearance of Vincent Price (d. 1993), who recorded his dialogue from 1967 to 1992. This the version Richard Williams intended.





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