>> Thursday, August 22, 2013
I like Tom Stoppard, but I have to admit the idea of a radio drama based on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon sounds like kind of... well, dumb. I mean, The Dark Side Of The Moon already is something of a radio drama, and while derivative works are an engine of culture and the fact a great playwright wants to do something inspired by Dark Side shows just how much vitality that iconic record still has after four decades and all that, there's part of me that thinks, "Well, why not save everyone some time and trouble and just pop the CD in the player and listen to that?"
On the other hand, the promo trailer Aardman Animation did for the radio drama, posted above, is fucking badass. Okay, so first of all, it's one of my all-time-favorite animation houses, famous for launching Nick Park and the music video for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer". And, second of all, it's one of my favorite records of all time. And, third, director Darren Dubicki wisely references much of the original artwork Hipgnosis and the late great Storm Thorgerson did (along with some of the visuals Ian Emes created for the Floyd's live shows). And, fourth, I do like Tom Stoppard a lot, and whatever reservations I may have about this project, the lines spoken over the promo trailer (which I assume are from the upcoming radio drama) are pretty good.
You might be interested to know, too, that the promo is only partly CGI: it's actually a mixed-media piece featuring practical effects and other "hand crafted elements". Which is worth mentioning because so much of everything is CGI these days, and while I understand Aardman's recent shift from being primarily a stop-motion house to doing quite a lot (if not a majority) of their work in CGI, it's nice they're keeping lots of different kinds of things in their toolbox; matter-of-fact, that flexibility is one of the reasons I adore Aardman.
Watch the clip. As often as necessary. It rules, totally.