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the tallest story competition...

This unusual animated programme features well-known Gaelic mimic and comedian Norman MacLean as an animated puppet introducing five tall tales from the remote heartlands of tribal India. Not content with merely introducing the cartoons he also plays a number of parts in the stories themselves - these include a raucous jackdaw, and underworld shaman, the humble House-Bonga and even the carnivorous Head-Bonga himself!

So which is the tallest story???? It’s not an easy choice. Each film is made in a different vivid and evocative Tribal Artwor style and those tribal drums will set your pulses racing...

Do you like the flying elephant? And what about those Bongas of the Santal tribe? The Saora Song-bird will tear at your heart strings while the greedy mouse will make you laugh but do you really believe that there are pots of gold waiting to be found in the forest by overworked housewives?


Film 1 - How the elephant lost his wings

In the beginning the first elephant had wings, but because he was careless and destructive he lost both his wings and his freedom. Brass sculptures from Bastar come to life in 3D animation. Animation by Tara douglas. Music by Miquette Giraudy

Film 2 - The Bonga

Luckily not all Bongas are bad as brothers Lakhan and Baijal discover when they escape from the world of the meat-eating Head-Bonga and his seductive daughter the Girl-Bonga; are chased by the head-Bonga’s fleet-footed tigers and are saved at last by ever resourceful Boundary-Bonga and House-Bonga

The Santal Tribe doesn’t have fairies, they have scary Bongas!

This film combines finely drawn backgrounds showing the land and homes of the Santali tribe with figurative art in teh style of the Chitrakar Scroll Painters from the Santal areas of Chattisgarh

Film 3 - The Pot of Gold

Life seems unfair in the Worli villiage where the husband works away at his paintings while his young wife does everything else. As her frustration rises he tries to convince her that God is the ultimate provider. Her doubts are only overcome when the pot full of gold that she finds in the forest is miraculously delivered to the young couples’ house. 2D white figures on Terracotta backgrounds in traditional Worli Tribal painting style. Sound track by Lokham, Gautam and Uttam the famous Baul Brothers from Bengal

Film 4 - The Best of the Best

Patterned artwork designed and painted by Gondi artists in tribal India is brought to life in this highly decorative film which tells the story of a vain mouse who considers herself to be the best of the best and hence deserving of the best of the best in all things. Her well-meaning friend the wagtail takes her demands literally and tries to satisfy the greedy mouse’s every whim with disastrous consequences for the mouse.

Traditional Gondi Song sung by Pardhan Gonds from Bhopal. The sacred fiddle - the Bana played by a Pardhan Gond musician and recorded in Pantagarh.

Film 5 - Song-Bird

This stunning hand-painted film tells the story of a young girl who calls her song-bird back from the world of the dead with the help of hte entranced Saora Shaman.

The Saora Tribe divide the world into the world of the living and the world of the dead. The shaman in the world of the living can contact the world of the dead.

So when a young Saora girl’s beloved song-bird dies she goes to the shaman for help.

The Shaman takes pity on the young girl’s anguish and brings the dead bird back to the land of the living.

But a flood of dead people follow the song-bird in a crazed search for everything they had while they were alive.

Hand painted oil on glass technique traditionally used by the Saora Ittels

Copyright © 2014 West Highland Animation

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