Who else has seen SKYWHALES, damn it?!

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.

skywhalesstill.jpg
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!


Skywhales! Directed by Derek Hayes and Phil Austin and produced for Channel 4.

18 Responses to “Who else has seen SKYWHALES, damn it?!”

  1. Mer Says:

    Skywhales!

  2. Glossolalia Black Says:

    The very concept of skywhales is pretty amazing. There was a commercial recently for Sea World where the killer whales were swimming through a city and a big open field and I LOVED IT.

  3. D Says:

    Jazz hands!

  4. Alice Says:

    So…they’re really hunting…each other? Themselves? More than a little trippy, and reminds me of all that was good about 80s fantasy.

  5. Jami Says:

    That was amazing.

  6. groonk Says:

    good lord. if 1983 year old me saw that, it would have damaged my sad little brain.

    i hate i missed it.

    cause 2008 year old me loves it!

  7. gooby Says:

    Wow! I thought I made that up! Cuz every time I talked about it with my cartoon friends nobody ever had any idea what it was, so here I’ve been figuring sheltered lil me made it up?!

    Yay! Skywhales!!

  8. Skerror Says:

    Cat number 3 has the same accent as the dwarf from Twin Peaks…I wonder if they’re friends.

    Skywhales is rad! It’s like Ralph Bakshi, Fantastic Planet, and The Point all rolled together…into a space doobie.

  9. Paul Komoda Says:

    What an extraordinary film!
    Damn…. I too missed”Skywhales”the first time around, and I’m someone who prides himself on having seen alot of strange and wonderful animated shorts(“Hello Quasi!”).

    Skerror…. It’s been many a moon since anyone mentioned”The Point”!

  10. Io Says:

    Does anyone remember/know where to find Unico? I loved it as a child…

  11. Shay Says:

    I vaguely remember an episode/issue of THE MAXX, where Maxx jolts in and out of our world and Pangea, and gets knocked by a skywhale, which is a Goodyear blimp in our world.

  12. Shay Says:

    @Paul – THE POINT. Wow.

  13. Paul Komoda Says:

    Where art thou Obleo?
    I believe the last time I saw The Point was in gradeschool somewhere.
    It was in that film that I was first introduced to the word,’decompose’ while a cartoon whale( there’s the connection!)was shown rotting to a skeleton.
    I’m most likely thinking of something else entirely.

    Three’s some very beautiful and imaginative background art in Skywhales!
    I guess I’ve had airborne sea creatures in my mind for a little while, mostly reinforced by alot of the comics I’ve read over the years.
    Anyone remember Rick Veitch’s “Abraxas and the Earthman”? “The Puma Blues” had those flying mantas….

  14. Shay Says:

    I have THE POINT here somewhere on DVD. If needed, it can be set free on the intart00bs.

  15. Jack Says:

    Thanks for that , I haven’t seen that since it was on C4 in, well it must be 83. It really made a mark on me then. Wow!

  16. Andrew Willans Says:

    Thank you!!!! this has been bugging me for years. Finally someone else that remembers this classic animation. At least now I know I didn’t just dream it. Now to track down a political animated short about violence….Victor ..I think was the name… cheers x1000 for this:)

  17. Skywhales – Short Film Review | Zellain Says:

    […] first learned about Skywhales two years ago when Coilhouse made a post about it. Since then it has haunted my memory, slipping into my thoughts at completely […]

  18. Jorge Says:

    I saw this animated film in the 80´s, i was a little boy. I was amazed by such story!!! I always wonder who did that and what was the name of the movie!! Today i found it!!! Thanks you so much!!!! =)
    (So happy!!!)