Three newly restored episodes of the beloved Danish children’s TV series “Circleen” (Danish: “Cirkeline”) which ran from 1967–1971, animated & produced by Jannik Hastrup and based on characters created by Hanne Hastrup – including the 1st-ever Blu-ray release of the wildly controversial, banned “Escape From America” episode! (Episodes in Danish with English subtitles)
“Circleen - The Snow Mouse” (1968, 10 min.) – the adorable miniature elf Circleen (who lives in a matchbox) and her mouse pals Freddy, Jack and Sammy decide to build a snow mouse instead of a snowman, and run afoul of their nemesis, the cat. Features Jannik Hastrup’s lovely, minimalist artwork and cut-out style of animation.
“Circleen - Sammy Goes Flying” (1968, 12 min.) – Circleen and her friends fly a kite and encounter gophers and singing tadpoles in this precursor to BENNY’S BATHTUB, with music co-written by BENNY’S composer Hans-Henrik Ley.
“Circleen – Escape From America” (1970, 13 min.) – arguably the single wildest, most incendiary and subversive episode of animated children’s TV ever produced. This starts out in familiar territory, with Circleen and friends going on a round-the-world adventure – until they get to the U.S., which is depicted as an early 1970s urban hellscape. They look for Mickey Mouse but discover he’s just a hollow statue. Instead, toy soldiers are terrifying the population, the police have swine faces, and they meet a mouse in hiding who’s a member of the Blank Panther Party. Imagine R. Crumb or Ralph Bakshi circa FRITZ THE CAT doing an episode of “Sesame Street” and you have some idea of the jawdropping “Escape From America,” which was banned from broadcast by Danish public TV.
New hour-long video interview with legendary Danish animator, author and BENNY’S BATHTUB co-director Jannik Hastrup, moderated by Dennis Bartok of Deaf Crocodile
Two separate audio commentary tracks by author, programmer and podcast host Millie De Chirico (“I Saw What You Did” podcast, TCM UNDERGROUND: 50 Must-See Films from the World of Classic Cult and Late-Night Cinema) and film journalist and podcast host Mike White (Cashiers du Cinemart, “The Projection Booth” podcast)
- New essay by film historian and documentary producer Steve Ryfle (Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla To Kurosawa)
- Blu-ray authoring by David Mackenzie of Fidelity In Motion