Terry Gilliam went on to direct such great films as “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Brazil” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (to name just a few), but he began his career primarily as an animator. Before moving to England he was a strip cartoonist on Help! magazine, and then after making his trip across the pond one of his first gigs was as an animator for sequences on the children’s TV show “Do Not Adjust Your Set” which starred future Pythons Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Jones, as well as other future comedy icons like David Jason.
It was during the same period that Gilliam directed the first of his two pre-‘Holy Grail’ animated shorts, “Storytime.” The film contains three loosely connected animated segments – “Don the Cockroach,” “The Albert Einstein Story” and “The Christmas Card” – with the latter actually originally created specially for the “Do Not Adjust Your Set Christmas” special in 1968. The other two, meanwhile, originally aired on “The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine.” But together they make up “Storytime,” introduced by an animated version of Gilliam himself, and they bear the distinctive animated style that he went on to showcase through Monty Python.
The short has previously been made available as a special feature on the DVD for Gilliam’s “Jabberwocky,” but it’s now shown up online which means everyone can check it out. It’s just short of nine minutes long and really rather funny, so if you’ve got those nine minutes spare then definitely give it a watch. We expect we will see Gilliam’s latest feature, “The Zero Theorem” (which has a really exciting cast) at some point over the next 12-18 months, and then, if he has any luck at all, Gilliam will be able to finally bring his “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” to the screen.