Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of those things that is actually as good as you remember. No amount of obnoxious over-quoting by comedy nerds trying out their best (i.e., terrible) British accent can ruin the best jokes. An amusing but safely mainstream Broadway musical adaptation cannot diminish its transgressive delights. 40 years later, it’s still one of the best comedies ever made, from one of the most inspired comedy groups to ever walk this planet.
So when long-lost animation from the film is unearthed for the new Blu-ray and DVD release, everyone with good taste has reason to celebrate! And when original Python troupe member/animator/token American Terry Gilliam is called in to provide commentary, everyone with the best taste has additional reason to break out the party favors.
Watch the deleted Monty Python animation, and Gilliam’s commentary, after the jump.
Although he never appeared on camera as often as John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones, Gilliam was a vital voice in the Python troupe. His surreal, intentionally stiff animations (which look like they do because he had no proper training) have become synonymous with some of the best comedy ever produced. The subversive gags and absurd humor in his animation laid the groundwork for his career as a live-action director and he went on to make some undeniable classics.
In typical Gilliam fashion, he spends most of the commentary cracking jokes and belittling his own work. But also in Gilliam fashion, he squeezes in plenty of anecdotes between the wisecracks, describing his animation process and giving most of the credit to other people. He talks about his bizarre love of snails, complains that he’s not getting paid for this commentary, and pays tribute to Neil Innes, the genius behind so many of the Python’s songs. He suggests that Monty Python and the Holy Grail will finally make money now that his brutally rejected, long-lost animation has been found. When he gets distracted, he jokes, “This sure beats me sitting and talking about animation, something I know nothing about anymore.”
Never change, Mr. Gilliam. You are the best.
If you want to skip Gilliam’s commentary and just get to the animation itself, skip ahead to the nine minute mark on that video. That would be a very silly thing to do, but hey, you’re your own person. Do as you please.
For a guy who famously has a hard time getting movies made, Gilliam has been popping up in the news an awful lot recently. First, he signed a deal with Amazon that will see him transforming some of his long-gestating films into TV shows. Then he revealed he was working on a television adaptation of his classic fantasy film, Time Bandits. Also, the internet accidentally killed him, but he got better.
And he’ll stay that way because Terry Gilliam is not allowed to die. Well, at least not until he finally finishes The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.Cool Posts From Around the Web: