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blogbrainsmallSeacoast Blog #81
January 26, 2010

Among the oddest of the movies by Louis de Rochemont is the animated version of George Orwell’s fable Animal Farm. That’s right, a Portsmouthm NH film producer made a totalitarian cartoon in which no one talks. It’s a fascinating story that involves E. Howard Hunt, the CIA and more. That story fills an entire book, but no time for all that here. Today we’re focused on a single footnote that is almost as strange. (Interview and photos below)

Christ lives in Australia and he collects souvenirs from the film Animal Farm. I’ve been collecting posters from the full range of de Rochemont films, but digging in on one movie – now that’s dedication. Amazingly, Chris has found an incredible range of items.

READ MORE about de Rochemont’s Animal Farm film

The movie was animated in England and Christ has lcoated original film cells, molds from printed posters, early sketches, movie promotions, and even a sereis of 3D figures drawn from the film.

But Chris, why this collection? I asked Chris a few questions about his enormous collection via email. Here’s his response:

animal_farm_00"Here in Australia it was mandatory to study the Orwell novel "Animal Farm" in the senior years of Highschool. So one week our English teacher said an animated version of the novel will be on television Friday night, we should watch it. I did and loved it from end to end."

"I've always liked old things that interest me, and the "Animal Farm" animation was no exception. It was not Disney, quite dark with serious content which appealed to me greatly. This was 1986. It wasn't until 1998 whilst living/working in the UK that I acquired my first "Animal Farm" piece."

"Christies has an animation art auction every year, and in 1998 I managed to secure a multi-cel production master setup from the movie, as seen in the attachment. It was a little damaged, which I had restored via an animation art shop in London."

"Over time my collection grew, as did my interest in "Animal Farm". As you see I now have numerous animation cels, drawings, movie posters and figurines. I also have the Halas & Batchelor illustrated U.S. edition of "Animal Farm" signed by them. I've since stretched my book collection to various early illustrated editions from Argentina, Germany, Denmark and an Italian comic book version, "La Fattoria Degli Animali".

VISIT Chri’s Animal Farm web site

"Probably my most significant find animation-wise was the series of Old Major cels, around 80, where he says "Comrades......REVOLT!!" They came with the matching camera sheet or dope sheet. This was very exciting."

"Eventually I will post all my publications on the web site. I just need the time. I feel it is important to share my collection with the world and keep it all safe and sound in the one secure place for future generations. My daughter loves watching the movie, she is now nine, and hopefully will continue my efforts in the future."

"As you said, things are becoming expensive. As "Animal Farm" is not Disney, it is not as expensive [to collect], but still hard to come by. I too run out of funds at times, but I collect what I can when I can and love it.

© 2010 SeacoastNH.com. All photos courtesy of AnimalFarmWorld.com

Postscript: While corresponding with Chris via email, he mentioned that another Louis de Rochemont artifact was available online. A copy of the screenplay "Whistle at Eaton Falls" shot here in the Seacoast (and starring Lloyd Bridges, Anne Frances and Earnest Borgnine) was on sale for $120. Too rich for my blood, I contacted Scott Campbell at the Newington Public Library. Newington is the site of de Rochemont's home "Blueberry Hill", now moved and adpated into a healthcare facility. Long story short, the library and hsitorical society purchased the script for its expanding de Rochemont colleciton. -- JDR

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Photos courtesy of AnimalFarmWorld.com

 

 

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An Amazing Animal Farm Film Collection
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