Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Special Delivery - Water Babies

When a 12-year-old chimney sweep is wrongfully blamed for being a thief, he makes a run for it and ends up jumping into a violent river. There he encounters a civilization of anthropomorphic underwater creatures. Before he can return to the surface and clear his name, however, he must help rescue his new friends, the Water Babies, from their nemesis. Featured voices include those of James Mason, Bernard Cribbins and Tommy Pender. The film starts and ends similarly to the book, though in the book Tom actually dies, and is only allowed above the sea on a temporary basis. The movie also adds a whole new subplot, involving a Killer Shark, an Electric Eel and the mythical Kraken, who decides whether or not Tom can return to the surface. There are also several invented characters, which Tom befriends on his quest: Jock, a Scottish lobster, Terence, an effeminate star struck Seahorse, and Claude, a foppish French swordfish.

Water Babies

1 comment:

  1. I remember first watching this film either on one of the premium channels or on Nick's Special Delivery. I really liked it as a kid, not having seen the book so Tom's death is rather interesting it went there. The movie settled for a more basic structure we've probably seen a few other times already (I personally thought of Wizard of OZ mostly).

    I watched it a decade back when it finally came out on DVD and recall wanting to really like it again (especially in the live-action parts, they did a real fine job on the historical setting especially with that mansion out in the countryside they filmed in, not to mention the mystery woman figure), somehow I couldn't get into the animated part. It just seemed so dated to look at. I noticed in the credits, this was animated by a studio in Poland so I suppose that's part of the reason there. I see the animation director on this was "Jack Stokes" who previously worked at TVC in London on stuff like the Beatles cartoon series, Yellow Submarine, and quite a few other UK/International efforts.

    The main director though seems unfamiliar to me, though most of his directorial effort tends to be children films otherwise, including one featuring The Wombles. Water Babies was probably his best known work.

    One thing about the DVD release I never noticed before watching it on TV is an added bonus of what appears to be some sort of epilogue music piece played over black that I suppose was heard originally in theaters as the lights went on and people left the cinema, at least I think that's what it's supposed to be. It was nice of MGM to keep it in for their DVD release.