Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Gentlemen of Titipu|
Actors: Ron Haddrick, Ross Higgins, Katrina Comino, Anna Russell, Bunny Brooke
Director: Leif Gram
Genres: Indie & Art House, Kids & Family, Television, Musicals & Performing Arts, Animation
In the Japanese fishing village of Titipu, preparations are underway to welcome the Emperor to the annual cherry blossom festival. During the welcoming ceremony, Koko, the Major and town tailor of Titipu commits the unfor... more »
A Curious (70's Era) Animated Operetta
byrner | The South | 04/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What is the audience for a psychedelic kiddie cartoon version of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta? Who the devil knows--but that didn't stop Air Programs International (API), the Australian animation studio, from making this hour-long movie. This was the same studio that created the beloved "Famous Classic Tales" series of animated TV specials shown in the US from 1970 through the early 1980s (e.g. A Christmas Carol, Ivanhoe, Treasure Island, Tales of Washington Irving, and many others). Gentlemen of Titipu is a departure from API's other specials. Firstly it is a musical--the only one they created. The music updates Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado to a kind of hippie pop, giving it a similar feel to Godspell. The animation is also a departure from the more stoic look of the Famous Classic Tales series. Gentlemen of Titipu has a wacky psychedelic look, like a cross between "Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table" and "Yellow Submarine".
All in all, its a time capsule back to the experimental animation of the sixties and seventies. It's a little dated in that regard, but it is well made. As a cartoon, its unquestionably fun, a little odd, and worth seeing (maybe with a group of your favorite drunken friends). As an operetta.. well, if you come to this strictly as a Gilbert and Sullivan fan, this will be a departure from what you're used to. The draw for opera lovers is Anna Russell, the Australian opera singer and comedian known for her parodies of opera, so buckle your seat belt.
Until this particular DVD release, the show had been out of print in the USA for quite some time. Nice to see that it's available again.
Everyone is fat!
Daisy Brambletoes | the Shire | 05/08/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let's put it this way. I can't say I vehemently disliked it because it was, in its own way, an acceptible introduction to Gilbert & Sullivan for children. This sort of programming is not uncommon for introductions to opera, operetta, and other classics, and I've certainly seen worse. Even as a self-proclaimed G&S purist, I am still not adverse to reasonable experimentation and adaptation - as this film most certainly is! - but also (as a purist) I had to cringe at some of the truly drastic changes made to the original, and I don't think that 70's pop music mixes well with G&S, either, and why on earth are most of the characters fat? They may as well have turned this over to a Japanese anime studio, which would have probably done a better job at adaptation. But for all the faults, it is kinda fun for all the same, and Anna Russell as Katisha was inspired casting."
One of the worst Sullivan operetta adaptations ever.
R. C. Walker | Encinitas CA, United States | 07/25/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I should have known better. I knew "The Gentlemen of Titipu" was animated. But I also knew that the inimitable Anna Russell voiced Katisha. "It can't be all that awful," I told myself.
This DVD is 45 minutes of almost pure drek. First of all, the plot of The Mikado is unnecessarily and stupidly twisted and perverted. Secondly, the presentation is "cute" in the same sense that "Yogi Bear" or "Magilla Gorilla" are "cute". At some points the urge to hurl is almost irresistable. Thirdly, the music (a term I use only out of convention) is so kitchy is to make Sullivan's music almost unrecognizable. Needless to say the musical numbers are jumbled totally out of order, often given new (and greatly inferior) words, and (in two words) utterly unattractive.
Anna Russell might as well not be in this thing. Her lines are mostly stupid (save the infrequent occasions on which Gilbert's words are actually used). She has made her voice so cartoony as to be unrecognizable as hers. Her witty presentation is gone, and what remains sounds as if she was doing a read-through so she could get paid.
Although his thing is clearly intended for children (who are mentally challenged), DO NOT SHOW THIS TO YOUR CHILDREN. OR ANY CHILDREN. OR ANYBODY ELSE, FOR THAT MATTER. It will give them a distorted idea of what Sullivan and Gilbert actually wrote and probably put them off the Savoy operas forever.
This is a terrible production. Its only redeeming feature is the lack of "bad" words. Do yourself a favor ... save your money. Burn any copy of this thing you run across. I'd give it a minus 10 stars if I could.