This is the second of four shorts produced by Anatoly Petrov for Soyuzmultfilm in the 1990s that depict mythological stories with overtly erotic content, which is unusual in Russian animation. These also include “The Birth of Eros”, “The Nymph Salmacis” and “Polyphemus, Acis and Galatea.” These films are also unique due to their experimental use of two-dimensional handcrafted cell animation as a means of creating three-dimensional effects.
Two seasons of twenty-six episodes were produced for CBS’ Saturday morning children’s programming by Canadian animation studio, Nelvana. Each episode recounts a famous myth, including those of Hercules, Ulysses, Theseus, Bellerophon and the Olympian gods, in a kid-friendly manner. The action/adventure series is based on the award-winning book series Myth Men: Guardians of the Legend, written by Laura Geringer and illustrated by Peter Bollinger.
Achilles is an 11-minute “very adult retelling of the Iliad” in stop-motion animation by celebrated British puppet animator and theater director Barry Purves. This NSFW film focuses on the homoerotic relationship between Achilles and Patroclus and its influence on their experience of the Trojan War. Achilles was produced by UK television Channel Four and features the voice talents of Derek Jacobi as the narrator. It was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Animation in 1996 and won several other awards at many international film festivals.
On the explicit sexuality in the film, Purves notes in an interview: “With Achilles the question was whether it was possible to bring eroticism into stop-motion, or would technique get in the way. I think it worked. There’s been little serious eroticism in animation. A lot of films poke fun at sex and flesh, but it seems to me that animation is an interesting medium for exploring our primal urges.”
This one-hour PBS production is based on illustrator and author David Macaulay’s 1974 book, City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction, in which he depicts the construction of Verbonia, a fictitious but typical ancient Roman city situated in Gaul (modern-day France). Macaulay also appears as the host of this program (one of a series that was based on his books), which cuts back and forth between two parts: a documentary that guides viewers through the archaeological remains of Roman cities, highlighting both engineering feats and architectural features; and an animated story of the construction of Verbonia by the architect Marcus Fabricius during the reign of Caesar Augustus. In this story, Marcus attempts to create a well-designed city but faces the challenges of both political corruption and local insurrection. Notably, the animated characters are voiced by famed actors such as Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, and Brian Blessed. Roman City won the 1994 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.
Show minutes 7.22-15.40