Went to the premiere of Suzie Templeton's Peter and the Wolf last night. It was a fantastic evening of music by the Philharmonia Orchestra, with the screening of Suzie's stop motion film rounding off the event to rapturous applause.
There was understandably a large family audience present at the Royal Albert Hall who really enjoyed this animated film, especially the antics of a very comical Magpie. (pictured below) It must have been a great reward to hear the laughter, after 5 years of hard work.
Like some of Suzie's previouse characters, her Peter is a tormented soul, living as he does with an old drunken relative. (Is it his Grandfather?) Suzie has a great knack of embuing her characters with a very deep sense of past, and like "DOG" you get the feeling that the past in question is shrouded in painful memories.
But don't let me give you the wrong idea, this is not like her other films. Suzie crafts a film that is funny, charming, visually stunning, and complements PROKOFIEV'S music perfectly.
From an animation point of view, the film has moments of pure brilliance, mixed with animation that is by comparison perfunctory, but that didn't seem to bother the rest of the audience one bit, and is testament I think to the visual strength of the characters, that they could on looks alone carry these technically weaker moments.
To be fair, Se-ma-for, the production company charged with producing the animation had a tight schedule to meet, and did a great job in just completing the film. Then there was a huge amount of post work that needed to be done to get the film ready for this premier, so hats off to everyone that made that happen.
I'm sure with more time the film will have a few of the untidy edges removed for subsequent outings.
one thing is certian, this film will open even more exciting opportunities for Suzie, and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
If you get a chance to see this film with the live orchestra, take it, it makes for a wonderful evening.
The DVD is out in November. Keep an eye on Breakthru Films for more info.