Monty Python And The Holy Grail turns 40 this year, meaning that entire generations have grown up with its cheerful plague humor, taunting Frenchmen, and Tim, the killer Rabbit Of Caerbannog. To celebrate the anniversary, a special edition of the movie is being released on Blu-ray and DVD. Included in the material is 14 minutes of cut animations, all narrated by director Terry Gilliam. Monty Python has also graciously posted the sequence on YouTube for your enjoyment.
Gilliam explains that the style of the segments were inspired by Illustrations In The Margins Of Medieval Manuscripts, which consists of what are essentially doodles made by monks bored with their transcribing duties. He also admits to standing on the shoulders of his illustrators, and simply moving around paper cut-outs in stop-motion fashion. And the trivia-minded Gilliam points out that the majestically-bearded face of God peering down is W.G. Grace, the “Grand Old Man” of 19th-century cricket.
The Python alum admits that he doesn’t know much about animation anymore, but it’s still a treat to listen Gilliam react to seeing this body of work decades after the fact, and reminiscing about the small stories existing in the nooks and crannies of these sequences. His dry humor extends to everything from the “failure” of the movie—“If it had succeeded, we wouldn’t have to be selling Blu-rays”—to his fascination with the texture of snails, despite being “dumb, stupid pieces of meat.”
Treat yourself to flesh wounds, huge tracts of land, and this delightful addition of unused animations, narrated by Terry Gilliam, when the 40th anniversary limited edition Blu-ray box set is available on October 27.