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  Short British Films &  TV Specials  

      Rex eyes up the Gog family in 'Gogwana'...

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Gogwana      (1997)
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 producers: Aaargh! Animation
   animation: stop-motion animation
      run time:
30 mins


 "Survival of the thickest..."

    An epic claymation adventure from Wales in which the prehistoric Gog family
    lose their home, find a baby vulture friend, rekindle a lost flame, battle a tribe
    of pygmy cannibals and are "guided" to a new Paradise idyll...

    Familiar to many from their two short series of claymation films - Gogs I and
    Gogs II - the Gogs are a mind-bogglingly stupid, coarse clutch of cavemen and
    women who, robbed of anything we could remotely call language, communicate
    through a stream of manic gestures, belches, farts and bodily outpourings.
    As with the series, understatement is definitely not the name of the game
    here. What is different is the budget which has enabled the animators to
    enrich the Gogs' undignified environment with extra dinosaurs, critters,
    and chaos. We travel through desert to tropical forest, to the skull caves
    of the pygmy cannibals before we are taken aloft for a pteradactyl-infested
    finale in the skies above Gogwana ("Gondwana" - geddit?).

      Gulp! - Pygmy Cannibals!   The Gogs - agog...

    This miniature epic is great fun. There are lots of genre nods and little details
    to enjoy. There's a fabulous Lost World encounter in the desert, a Jurassic
    Park snapshot at the end and, in between, the pleasure of seeing the expression
    on the mask of a pygmy as he concentrates on building a tower of cards, and
    things like the little running pygmy symbol over their cave exit. Interesting too
    to witness a final encounter with the Gogs aloft in a makeshift dinosaur balloon
    (don't ask) - an encounter which leaves Grandpa Gog and the main protagonist
    dangling for their lives below the balloon in a sequence that's most similar to
    the finale of that claymation classic Chicken Run. "Gogwana" and "Chicken Run"
    both include the multitalented Colin Rose on their production credits, but the
    Gogs film predates that egg-cellent feature by more than a year. Hmm. There's
    one for animation archeologists to ponder (which came first, Chicken or Gog?).
    All you have to do is marvel at the dive-bombing dactyls and pygmies in this
    Battle of Prehistoric Britain - it's terrific. "Gogwana" takes a big step up from
    the series, offering us bigger vistas and effects, but keeping its index finger
    deep up one nostril and it's feet well-and-truly rooted in dinosaur doo-doo...

    All of that toilet humour was obviously not lost on Academy voters because
    Gogwana was nominated for a Best Animation BAFTA in 1999. And fans will
    be delighted to know that Gogs I, Gogs II and Gogwana have been compiled
    on to one desirable DVD release in the UK...

» Trivia Hounds perusing the film credits will no doubt recognize the name of
        Terry Brain, listed as an animator on the film. Mr Brain was one of the
        geniusus lurking beneath The Trapdoor...

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      See also

      Gogs (series)

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      Broadcast info

      "Gogwana" premiered on BBC2, 25th December 1998, at 1.27pm.

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     Gogwana on DVD

     UK DVD Gogs - The Complete Collection
                Region 2 / Warner Vision / April 2001


       an Aaargh! and S4C production
       for BBC Bristol

     director:             Deiniol Morris
     producer:           Helen Nabarro
     exec prod:          Mike Mort, Deiniol Morris
     for S4C:              Meirion Davies
     for the BBC:        Colin Rose

     writers:              Sion Jones, Mike Mort,
                              Deiniol Morris, Joe Turner
     music:                Arwyn Davies
     arranged by:      Nic Raine
     prod man:          Jon Wigfield
     d.o.p:                Paul Smith
     film editor:         Tamsin Parry
     sound design:     Reelworks
     animation:         Suzy Fagan, Jody Meredith, Mike Mort,
                             Chris Sadler, Ian Whitlock, Terry Brain,
                             Will Hodge, Jon Pinfield
     anim asst:         Alison Evans
    Lorraine Mason, Nigel Leach
     modelmakers:    Marcus Noonan, Salinee Mukhood
     sets:                 Farrington Lewis & Company Ltd
     voices:              Marie Clifford
                             Gillian Flisa
                             Dafydd Emyr
                             Rosie Lawrence
                             Rob Rackstraw
                             Nick Upton


      On the web

      No links right now, unfortunately...

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© Aaargh! Animation/ S4C (Wales) / F2006