Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Fabulous World Of Jules Verne

I discovered the delightful trailer for The Fabulous World of Jules Verne while watching the DVD 42nd Street Forever 5 with my friend, Dr. Lao. I immediately wanted to go out and find a copy of the film.

Fabulous World is a 1958 Czech film based on the Jules Verne book, Facing The Flag. What makes the movie so cool is its gorgeous production design and stop motion animation. Everything in the movie is made to look like old fashioned engraving illustrations like those found in the original editions of Verne's book. And the live action, animation, and other special effects are meticulously integrated.

You can watch the entire movie in pieces on YouTube, but the quality of the print is pretty lousy and you don't get to see a lot of the detail that went into it (the trailer found on 42nd Street Forever is much better looking). It's a great example of how innovative filmmakers could be on a tight budget, and long before CGI became available.

This movie is begging for a restoration. And with the popularity of steampunk these days it wouldn't even be that hard to market. Here's hoping someone will pull this out of obscurity and put it on DVD or Blu-Ray where it belongs (ahem, Criterion).

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