There are 6m postcodes in London, what's happening in yours?
Published October 14th 2012
The Fab Four (Plus 3 Animators)
What do you get when three animators with a big love of four loveable moptops from Liverpool and some animation software? Only one of the funniest films you'll see this year. "Ringo and The Idol of Justice" skewers the washed up talents of yesteryear in a film that pastiches "Yellow Submarine", "Mr Benn", Indiana Jones and every pop music culture sacred cow of the past 60 years in the style of "Monkey Dust", sans dystopian dread and bleakness.
The plot centres on Ringo Starr going to a fancy dress shop, where there is a door to Holland, where he gets all sorts of recreational substances made popular by these scouse gits (sorry, wits) and the cameo appearances by Paul Weller, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley and so on. On going to the shop, he finds John Lennon gone and Noel Gallagher of Oasis singing a duff Beatles pastiche and even calling it "derivative".
John missing, One of the Gallahger brothers hears a rumour that the shop has a magic doorway leading to an Amsterdam twinned with "Yellow Submarine". When they meet Indiana Jones, their mission is revealed: To stop the Gallaghers, Kate Moss, Johnny Borrel from Razorlight depositing a statue in a cave on an Island on the Hook Of Holland that could turn these washed up artists into creative genii. Everyone is after it, even Paul Weller and Robbie Williams.
The writing is just brilliant, the gags running through the film thick and fast and there are plenty of inventive touches. Paul McCartney as a boy wonder in the vein of Short Round in "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom", being very helpful and getting stuck after trying to get something being the funniest. The animation style is derivative and a copy of what went before (Both "Monkey Dust" and "Yellow Submarine") , but it wouldn't be funny otherwise. You can even turn this into a game of spot the song, film or reference with the winner buying the drinks.
Before the film proper, there are some hillariously surreal send ups of Hollywood at its most money grubbing with a trailer for "Witches Vs Tanks", complete with spoof adverts for cash-ins like the drink, the bathroom cleaner and the fridge magnets. It was like "Monkey Dust" without the dystopian paranoia and innocent silliness taking its place. The only darkly topical gag was "Catanamo Bay" in the "Witches Versus Tanks" trailer, but that was just surrealism.
I'll admit, I'm an ex-Beatles fan (I think they're now a parody of themselves since they released The Anthology when I was nineteen), but I loved how they still garner much affection in this cartoon that skewers how derivative contemporary pop music is, not to mention film and television.
If you wish to see this piece of animation genius head to Total Thrive Productions and see where it's going next. If it's a-coming to your town, watch it and see the best tribute to The Fab Four you might ever see. The only downside was that when I told the animators it would make a great christmas present for a friend, I was told that they were doing screenings, but you can buy prints from:
Ben Oakley Gallery, 9 Turnpin Lane, Greenwich, London, SE10