Two Victorian gentlemen take a trip to the moon and encounter an underground civilisation created by beings known as Selenites.
This is animator Brett Piper’s adaptation of the H.G. Wells science fiction classic – and it is told in just seven minutes. Yikes! The story certainly zips along at a cracking pace.
Brett, who has created such fun full-length, low budget stop-motion gems as A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL (1990), ARACHNIA (2003), CLAWS (2015) and TRICLOPS (2016), handles this project with a deft, light touch.
I especially liked the depiction of the different, amusing types of Selenites (really strong ones, really tiny ones, etc) and the conversation the protagonists have with the Grand Lunar, explaining to him the war-like nature of mankind, is cool (and quite damning).
The stop-motion models are charming, built with a great economy of design, Dave Fitzgerald’s vocal work is also perfect for the production and I liked Brett’s depiction of the mooncalf (a food source for the Selenites) as a kind of grey-skinned, semi-comical quadruped with small antenna-like protrusions on its bulky head.
Since making FIRST MEN IN THE MOON Brett has tackled a TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA short and has now just finished his mini-version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH. Hopefully all of these adaptations will be released together one day!
FIRST MEN IN THE MOON is available as an extra on the DVD for Brett’s OUTPOST EARTH.