Meet Buddy and Elvis, two aliens who thought that Earth sounded so fun, they decided to play truant from alien school and come visit us!
It’s a question as old as time, or at least sliced bread – why does toast always land buttered side down? And it’s a wonder as old as feline evolution – how does a cat’s gyroscopic brain manage to twist its body into a purrfect four-point landing every time? If you ask Buddy and Elvis, the only way to answer these teasers is to tie them together into a 2 for 1, and then watch the fur, and butter, fly!
Review by Andrew Murray
The Art Deco age has long been a playground for artists, film-makers and other raiders of a lost aesthetic. It’s an era that can seem both modern and antique. The building-blocks of modernity are in place – the train, the aeroplane, the moving image – and the sleek contours of the decorative modern style aspire to a future beyond steam, propeller and silver nitrate celluloid. The term ‘Art Deco’ wasn’t coined until the sixties – a conscious act of looking back and repackaging the era as a wonderland ripe for plunder and play. And how we’ve played, from Raiders of the Lost Ark, to the enduring popularity of Poirot, to video games like Bioshock, to the current cosplay culture of steampunk. High-minded Bauhaus modernism was all very well, but it was a bit austere, a bit Spartan. Deco was modernism unafraid to have fun.
Piet Kroon and Illuminated Films came to the party with T.R.A.N.S.I.T., as joyful an encapsulation of Deco as you could wish to spend twelve minutes watching. It’s a tale of thwarted passions and intrigue played out in reverse, as luggage labels peel away from a suitcase and we are transported back in time to Cairo, the Orient Express, Venice, Baden-Baden, to discover, step by step, the innocuous beginnings that will lead to blood and betrayal. The bullet returns to the revolver, the chloroform pad returns to the trench-coat pocket, and at last we see the beginning, an innocent flirtation that we, as with Deco, can savour with the full experience of hindsight.
A talented team of animators have rendered each of the seven locales in a distinctively different style, all joining together, like the fractured shards of a Venice mirror, to produce a sympathetically variegated whole. The Orient Express and the South American steamer are born of the travel posters of the era, posters whose style was boldly modern, near-fetishistic in their celebration of the thrusting lines of locomotive and liner; and deeply romantic in their promises that the wonders of engineering could transport us to lands of enchantment, Shangri-las as unreachable to most people as the far side of the moon.
T.R.A.N.S.I.T. is a film for anyone who’s ever flown with Indiana Jones in those beautiful flying boats, joining the dots-to-dots of a world map that still contains Siam and Ceylon; for anyone who’s ever given their little grey cells a work-out with Poirot’s clockwork crime conundrums; anyone who Bioshocks; anyone who steampunks; and anyone who’s ever passed by the antique-futuristic theme park called Art Deco, and hopped over the fence to have a play.
Andrew Murray 2015 Images © Illuminated Films
In class, Buddy and Elvis thought planet earth sounded so much fun that they skipped alien school and decided to pay us a visit. On arrival, Buddy and Elvis slightly misjudge the planet’s pecking order and trade places with two unsuspecting pets. With the aid of special collars, the pair transform into cat and dog, whilst the ‘real’ pets are sent back to alien school in their place as cover!
Life as aliens disguised as pets takes some getting used to though: their dinner gets handed out in bowls on the floor and they have inherited some peculiar species habits…
Children’s series for ages 5-11, inspired by the successful children’s book series by Andrew Murray and Nicola Slater
So you’re an alien from outer space, come down to Earth to enslave the human race and be worshipped as a god. We’ve all been there. But what physical form are you going to take? It’s got to be the most powerful species on Earth. The species that humans adore most, fear most, worship most. The species that humans feed, water, bathe, play with, fuss over, and take for walkies. Would you believe they’ll even clear up your poop? But is that species the Dog? Or the Cat? Make your choice and grab your collar…