Terry Gilliam’s deleted animations from “Monty Python & The Holy Grail”

By on October 15, 2015

Earlier this week, the Monty Python Youtube page released a 14-minute video of Terry Gilliam’s lost animations from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary theatrical re-release and also the 40th anniversary release on Blu-Ray, DVD and as a limited edition castle gift set.


In fact, we didn’t know this, but yesterday — Wednesday, October 14, 2015 — was the official Holy Grail Day,  and many theaters across the country showed the film at special screenings (you can read more at the link).

Earlier this year, you may have seen our post about Gilliam’s early pre-Monty Python animation work, which we wrote “helped define an entire generation’s sense of humor.” That post also featured excerpts from posts about Gilliam’s appearance on Bob Godfrey’s series “Do It Yourself Film Animation Show,” which satirized animation and commercial advertising, making animation accessible to the masses by taking the mystery out of its production process.


Here’s more about the Monty Python & the Holy Grail animations from from The Verge:

Terry Gilliam is arguably best known as a director of films that inspire millions of dorm room posters: Time Bandits, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and a perpetually in-development, never completed Don Quixote project. But before those films, Gilliam served as the animator for British comedy troupe Monty Python, eventually becoming a full fledged member.


Forty years ago, he co-directed what’s become one of the most beloved cult films of all time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Today, 14 minutes of lost animation from that film have been resurfaced on the official Monty Python YouTube page.

Gilliam introduces the lost animation, part of an upcoming 40th anniversary Blu-ray, explaining why the art wasn’t used, and how he developed his style.


“This in fact is probably the only reason to buy this new Blu-ray version of the film, for the new animation,” jokes Gilliam. “In fact, it’s old animation, but its the animation that was cut out by the rather envious members of the group, who were trying to restrain a young, talented animator. A man who could have gone on to be a great animator, but no, he was forced into live-action filmmaking to cover the scars.”


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.