Diana and the Golden Apples (1960)

6 min.

Produced by New World Productions; one episode of the Mel-O-Toons series

An odd retelling of the Atalanta and Hippomenes myth in the “limited animation” style. In this version, the baby Diana is abandoned after her parents are captured by bandits. She is raised by the hunters who find her and she learns to run, ride and hunt. Melanion is her childhood companion in these activities and her best rival. After her parents somehow reclaim her, she returns to Athens with them but not before predicting she will marry Melanion. Years later he competes for her hand in the infamous running race, but it is her father who helps him win by providing the golden apples that will lead to her defeat.

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (1980)

Watch in full here: https://www.nfb.ca/film/town_mouse_country_mouse/

5 min., Directed by Evelyn Lambart, Canada

Summary from the National Film Board of Canada: “In this animated short, Evelyn Lambart uses her well-known style of animation – paper figures and brightly colored backgrounds – to revisit Aesop’s tale of 2 mice with vastly different lifestyles. Ultimately, the film suggests it is far better to live simply and in peace than to live in luxury amidst danger.”

Hercules (1995)

50 mins.; Jetlag Productions / Goodtimes Entertainment

Director: Toshiyuki Hiruma Takashi

USA/Japan

This budget direct-to-video children’s production tells a sanitized story of the life of Hercules with a focus on the twelve labors. I presume this film, like its 1997 Golden Films and 1998 Mondo TV counterparts, was produced in order to capitalize on the success of Disney’s 1997 feature film of the same name.

The animation is rendered in a simple Japanese style and the plot, apart from a few odd twists, is unexceptional, but what actually makes this film worth watching are the three original songs it includes (this was a special feature of all Jetlag Productions films): “Greek Mythology,” “Son of Zeus” and “Never Give Up.” Absolutely mind-blowing!

More:

Full film dubbed in French

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercules_(1995_film)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0238269/

 

Sisyphus (1974)

2 min.

A powerful hand-drawn short by Hungarian animator Marcell Jankovics. It premiered in the US at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1974 and was nominated for Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards in 1975. It was also featured in a car commercial during the Super Bowl in 2008.

More: http://www.openculture.com/2015/11/the-myth-of-sisyphus-wonderfully-animated-in-an-oscar-nominated-short-film-1974.html

https://www.cartoonbrew.com/advertising/marcell-jankovics-super-bowl-spot-4983.html

 

Mytho Logique (2010)

6 min., France, subtitles

Created by Jessica AMBRON ; Amandine ARAMINI ; Alexandre BELBARI ; Guillaume POITEL ; Yannick VINCENT

This slick, student-made computer-animated short tells the story of a satyr who can’t help but tell the truth, and the silly sexual hijinks that he gets caught up in as a result. With a fun little twist in the end about how myths are made!

Featuring a tree nymph, a female Centaur and her jealous boyfriend, Bacchus, and a cameo by Zeus as a buff stud who’s so cool he’s gotta wear shades. Slapstick humor and some gratuituous T&A body shots make this one suitable for a teen/adult crowd.

A Centaur’s Life [セントールの悩み] (2017)

12 episodes, 30 min. each (split into two 15 minute segments); originally titled “Centaur’s Worries” in Japanese; based on a manga series by Kei Murayama that began in 2011 and is still being produced. The animated series was produced by Haoliners Animation League.

A Centaur’s Life is from the subgenre known as Minami-ke, or “slice of life” anime. It focuses on the experiences of the centaur Himeno Kimihara and her friends as they navigate through the highs and lows of high-school and adolescence. The only difference is theirs is a world of supernatural and hybrid creatures, as evolution took a different path and “normal” humans are now the stuff of mythology!

More:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Centaur’s_Life

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19402

https://www.funimation.com/shows/a-centaurs-life/

 

Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998)

80 min. Produced by Renaissance Pictures/Universal Cartoon Studios, directed by Lynne Naylor

A feature-length action adventure direct-to-video film based on the hit TV shows,  Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior PrincessThe main actors from the shows, including Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless, did the voice work for the characters.

A brief plot summary: “Mighty Zeus brings Hercules’ mother, Alcmene, to Mount Olympus, and Hercules, believing she has been kidnapped, leads a rescue mission to save her. Zeus’ jealous wife, Hera, decides that it should now be her time to rule the universe. Hera steals the Chronos Stone, source of the God’s power, and unleashes the four Titans from their eons of imprisonment. With these angry behemoths on the loose, only the combined forces of Hercules and Xena, together with their trusty sidekicks Iolaus and Gabrielle, can save Mount Olympus.” Written by David Mullich <dmullich@aol.com>

More:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercules_and_Xena_%E2%80%93_The_Animated_Movie:_The_Battle_for_Mount_Olympus

 

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