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Video Reviews

Wendy Jackson rewinds The Animated Kid's Songs of Woody Guthrie and Rose Bond's A Celtic Trilogy.

Rose Bond.

A Celtic Trilogy

Portland-based animator Rose Bond has independently released a videocassette of her films. The collection, titled A Celtic Trilogy, includes three hand-made films, Deirdre's Choice, Macha's Curse, and Cerridwen's Gift. At 48 minutes, the reel is in itself an impressive accomplishment, especially when one takes into consideration the fact that Bond creates the images frame-by-frame in a painstaking process of painting and drawing directly onto the surface of clear 35mm film. The fact that she can tell dramatic stories and portray illustrative images and fluid movement upon such a small canvas is even more amazing. The beginning of the tape includes a six minute documentary on the technique as well as the cultural context of the stories.

All three of the films are based on narratives derived from traditional Celtic tales and Irish literature. Depicting headstrong women and goddesses with a feminist sensibility, these films provide a promising alternative to heroines in traditional animated films; Deidre, Macha and Cerridwen are certainly better role models than any Belle, Pocahontas or Jezebel.

Read Rita Street's article about Rose Bond in the May 1996 issue of Animation World Magazine. http://www.awn.com/mag/issue1.2/articles1.2/streetbond1.2.html

A Celtic Trilogy is available on VHS for $29.95 (US) from Rose Bond Productions, P.O. Box 25756, Portland, OR 97298.

This Land is Your Land: The Animated Kids' Songs of Woody Guthrie

The classic American folk songs of singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie have been brought to life in a new direct-to-video production by Calico Entertainment. Illustrating children's songs performed by the artists' son, Arlo Guthrie, the tape is a 23 minute collection of seven animated "music videos." Each short is executed in a distinctly different visual style, from a look reminiscent of the 1930s "Golden Age" cartoons, to images inspired by Native American art. In the final number, all of the characters from the different sequences join together for a performance of "So Long, It's Been Good To Know Yuh."

This Land is Your Land: The Animated Kids' Songs of Woody Guthrie is available on VHS, retail for $12.98, distributed by Live Entertainment.

Wendy Jackson is Associate Editor of Animation World Magazine.

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