Terry Gilliam’s Lost Animations from Monty Python and the Holy Grail Are Now Online

This year marks the 40th anniver­sary of Mon­ty Python and the Holy Grail and as the group has always been upfront about shame­less­ly milk­ing their fans for cash, there’s a new ver­sion of the Blu-Ray out, and a new print tour­ing the world. John Cleese and Eric Idle are cur­rent­ly also on an Amer­i­can tour, shar­ing the stage as a duo for the first time. Michael Palin has a book tour for the third vol­ume of his diaries. Ter­ry Jones is still work­ing on movies and plug­ging char­i­ties on his Twit­ter stream. Ter­ry Gilliam has an auto­bi­og­ra­phy com­ing out this month. And Gra­ham Chap­man, despite his beau­ti­ful plumage, is still dead.

How­ev­er, the Pythons are giv­ing a few things away and one of them is the above com­pi­la­tion of unused ani­ma­tions by Gilliam from the Holy Grail. They can be found on the new Blu-Ray, but the group’s offi­cial Youtube chan­nel is shar­ing them-—first with Gilliam’s com­men­tary, then with sound effects—for free.

These ani­ma­tions are links between the skits that make up Holy Grail, and include drag­ons, giants, and a very large snail. Gilliam took a lot of the illus­tra­tions that he didn’t do him­self from a book on illu­mi­nat­ed man­u­scripts, and, see­ing them all togeth­er in one go, one can imag­ine an alter­na­tive uni­verse where the ani­ma­tor makes an entire movie this way. (On the com­men­tary track, he half-jok­ing­ly describes him­self as “the man who could have gone on to become a great ani­ma­tor but was forced into live action film.”)

As per Python, a lot of the com­men­tary track berates the view­er for throw­ing mon­ey away on a redun­dant ver­sion of what the con­sumer prob­a­bly owns, and how Gilliam isn’t get­ting paid enough to do this. (Cue some coinage sound effects and Gilliam gets back on mic.)

If this kind of archiv­ing is going on, it would be inter­est­ing to know the sta­tus of Gilliam’s oth­er ani­ma­tions for both Python and the var­i­ous shows he did in the years run­ning up to it. There are indeed some inter­est­ing ear­ly works out there that need a facelift.

As for Gilliam and the Holy Grail, he says he doesn’t watch it:

I’m glad it makes a lot of mon­ey and keeps me in the style I’ve grown accus­tomed to. But watch it again? Why? We’ve got lives to lead.

via Digg

Relat­ed con­tent:

Ter­ry Gilliam Reveals the Secrets of Mon­ty Python Ani­ma­tions: A 1974 How-To Guide

Mon­ty Python and the Holy Grail Re-Imag­ined as an Epic, Main­stream Hol­ly­wood Film

Watch Ter­ry Gilliam’s Ani­mat­ed Short, The Christ­mas Card (1968)

John Cleese’s Eulo­gy for Gra­ham Chap­man: ‘Good Rid­dance, the Free-Load­ing Bas­tard, I Hope He Fries’

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the FunkZone Pod­cast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at tedmills.com and/or watch his films here.

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