Director – Steven Lisberger, Screenplay – Steven Lisberger & Michael Fremer, Story – Steven Lisberger, Roger Allers & John Norton, Producers – Steven Lisberger & Donald Kushner, Music – Graham Gouldman, Animation Supervisor – Bill Kroyer, Art Direction – Allers, Norton & Peter Mueller. Production Company – Lisberger Studios
Gilda Radner, Billy Crystal, Harry Shearer, Michael Fremer
Animals come from all over the world to Pawprint Stadium on Animalympic Island to compete in the Animalympics.
This independently-made animated film was designed to commercialise on the 1980 Moscow Olympics – it was originally intended as two tv specials commissioned by NBC to accompany the Olympics but expanded out to a theatrical release. However, this proved to be a gamble that flopped spectacularly when the Olympics were boycotted by most nations over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The film never received a theatrical release in the US, although did play in other parts of the world.
With no plot to speak of, Animalympics is only a series of running skits and gags that lack any connection – the whole film could make do with a quarter of its running time with no measurable difference. It never seems to be much more than a feature-length collation of cartoon shorts. Action slows to a standstill during the insipid, instantly forgettable songs. Although the odd gag is amusing, like the biography of an alligator athlete – “He began life as a handbag – they said he’d never walk again.”