Watch: Bikers Invade a Dance in Animated Short 'The Chaperone'
by Alex Billington
August 12, 2021
"They got a rude awakening." Who wants to hear a story about a teacher who beats up an entire motorcycle gang in 1970s Montreal? This entrancing, extra creative short documentary film titled The Chaperone first premiered years ago, but we're just catching up with it thanks to a reminder from Short of the Week. The film features mostly 2D drawings that look like school doodles, plus some segments of puppets, miniatures, a few live-action shots, and more. The film is about a schoolteacher in Montreal in the 1970s who takes on an entire biker gang while chaperoning a middle school dance in a church basement. As retold by the DJ & teacher. "With over 10,000 hand drawings (many of which were colored in crayon by hand), an original blaxploitation score and featuring a cast of over 200 people, The Chaperone is an unconventional approach to documentary shorts." Yes, it's awesome. What a wild story to tell, and a massively creative film.
Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip on this one. Description from YouTube: "The previously untold, true story of a lone teacher chaperoning a peaceful school dance in a 1970s Montreal church basement… until a motorcycle gang invades. But the bikers don't know one thing: Ralph has a curriculum to teach, and he'll ram it into their skull if he has to!" The Chaperone was directed by Montreal-based animation filmmaker Fraser Munden, who runs the animation studio Thoroughbread Pictures in Montreal - check them out on Vimeo or visit their official website. The screenplay is by Neil Rathbone and Fraser Munden. Produced by Michael Glasz and Munden. With set design by Neil Rathbone. This originally premiered at TIFF in 2013. It won an Audience Award at Fantasia 2014, and Best Short at the Sidewalk Film Festival that year. Read an interview with Munden on Spectacular Optical. For more info, visit SOTW. To watch more shorts, click here.
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