a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Jacques Tati


From the high to 'Alvin and the Chipmunks'
Jules Engel Film-maker
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

The ending was that we knew we were - something happened. After 13 or 14 years, something happens. I think maybe you've just given everything you have and nothing works. Or whatever is there, it's just not good enough. And it was one of those things where you, like a boxer who can't lift his hands anymore, you know, because it's getting heavier and heavier. To a degree, I think that also happened to us, that no matter what, it wasn't that good anymore. It just wasn't good. So the only thing that happened that eventually we looked for another place to go where we can maybe start all over again, what we did. And that was Alvin and the Chipmunks. Now, how the hell? I mean, from that high to go to Alvin and the Chipmunks, what? But that's an income, you know? Now we have a studio and we have 24 to half an hour to do and maybe something will come out. But things just didn't happen. And although we had 240 Popeye's to do at the beginning, 240 Pop - each 3 minutes long. So some portion of what went to New Zealand, people who were working in New Zealand, and I went to London. I had to do maybe a half-a-dozen films with the crew in Hollis Batchelor's studio. So that was in two places, Australia and London and then at home here. And after we finished that, that was sort of a - after that, nothing happened, so we closed the, closed the shop. They still owe me some money. But then let's not forget that some people are not with us anymore. That's a biggie. But it just - there were so many bad films were made at that time. So many bad, short cartoons were made at other studios that they didn't trust you anymore and so it just disappeared. It disappeared, you know? And we all found another job, or whatever, to do. But it just disappeared into, into a nothing. And we were lucky, like I mentioned earlier, that somebody wanted this building and so they bought the building. The rent, what we owed, they took over and then we all walked out and - friends. Of course you stay friends but that was it, yeah.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Bill Moritz Tamara Tracz

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: Australia, London, New Zealand, Hollis Batchelor

Duration: 3 minutes, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008