Waaaaugh! Why didn’t anyone tell me about Skywhales? This is incredible. Have you seen it? What about you there, in the back, wearing the Dragonriders of Pern tee shirt? Ever heard of Skywhales? Yeah?
DAMN it. I’d never even heard of Skywhales until just now. What a huge, unsightly gap in my nerducation.
My old friend Adam Lamas and I were just wasting many precious hours of life watching cats have psychotic episodes on Teh YooToobz when suddenly he asked “wait, time out, have you seen Skywhales?” Nope, never heard of it. He made with the clickies and I promptly spilled bongwater wine all over myself.
My manta ray is all right.
Completed in 1983, Skywhales is an animated short about a race of green-skinned humanoid aliens who live on a floating island in the upper layers of a gaseous planet’s atmosphere. To survive, they hunt enormous manta ray creatures in pedal-powered airships. As this fansite author puts it, Skywhales “is a window onto an alien way of life–language, culture, taboos… as complete a picture as a short film has ever painted, and its final revelations are nothing short of haunting.”
And how! The “boo bee boo boo bee” stuff is a bit grating at first, but hang in there. It’s epic, as Nadya would say. Uber, even. Circle of life. See it! Skywhales! (Sorry, I just really like saying that. “Skywhales!” While making jazz hands.) But seriously. It’s gorgeous and poignant and disturbing. Like your mom. With a mohawk.
Skywhales! Directed by Derek Hayes and Phil Austin and produced for Channel 4.