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“St. Trinian’s” Titles

St. Trinians

The Submarine Channel’s subsite Forget the Films, Watch the Titles has posted the opening titles to the recent live-action film St. Trinian’s, based on Ronald Searle‘s classic print cartoons. Title was designed and directed by Paul Donnellon and animated by Petria Whelan. It looks like a low-budget job and points to how difficult it is to capture the spirit of Searle’s drawings in animation. Searle has been faithfully translated into animated form before, as in the 1957 industrial cartoon Energetically Yours and various commercials from the 1960s, but it requires a sensitivity for design and draftsmanship that isn’t evident in these titles.

  • Derek

    Yes, something is definitely lost in the translation by running it through the Flash machine. To be true to the line style, old school is the way to go.

  • pretty wide of the searle mark but no doubt the budget crippled it.
    It would take hand drawn animation and great skill to genuinely
    capture the Ronald Searle charm.

    Here is a great blog dedicated to the great man

  • Mike Fontanelli

    I prefer the great Ealing comedies of the 1950s, with Alastair Simm.(The Belles of St Trinians, Blue Murder at St Trinians, The Pure Hell of St Trinians and The Great St Trinians Train Robbery)
    Searle himself designed the great opening titles, (although not animated,) and the vintage poster art. They’re all available as a complete 4-disc box set, but only in Region 2 PAL, cuss the luck.

    I’ve also been waiting for someone to release Dick Deadeye on DVD – a feature-length dose of animated Searle from 1975. It was available in the UK once, but never on this side of the pond. (Deadeye is a parody of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Not enough Americans are familiar with G & S to warrant a release over here, I guess.)

    Until then, the closest we can get to see Searle’s designs animated is in Chuck Jones’ Deduce, You Say!. Searle was, and still is a genius. He also influenced Erich Sokol, Gerald Scarfe and Mort Drucker – a pretty impressive crowd…

  • There’s a St Trinian’s series of films from the 1950’s and 60’s that use Searle’s artwork.

    This looks like something completely unrelated.

  • Brian

    Does anyone know where I can view Energetically Yours?

  • Jerome

    Well, in the “read more” section next to the video, the title designer/director explains why the drawings don’t look a lot like animated Searle drawings : “Because of copyright restrictions we were not allowed to use his drawings but the film director wanted something that would give the feeling of the originals. The studio did actually send our drawings to Searle in France to get his approval anyway, and out of respect for his wonderful creations.”

  • Alfons Moline

    Let us not forget Searle´s influence on the design of 101 Dalmatians!
    By the way, a St. Trinian´s animated series was once announced way back in 1999, to be made by Nelvana in co-production with YTV. It seems that this project never got off the ground… luckily, since it was going to be, predictably, much toned down as compared to the delightful mean spirit of Searle´s original cartoons.

  • To answer a few of the comments above.
    Budget, like nearly all UK films was very restricted to say the least, in fact tiny and for various reasons, the schedule became rushed, as is also usual with UK films. In Hollywood productions things are better planned and more time is given, due to proper budgets and financing.Unfortunately British films seem to be always crippled by lack of budget and time.

    Also, for copyright reasons, Searle’s illustrations could not be used and could only nod in that direction.

  • Bill Field

    It looks like a style composite of Sergio Arragones and Al Jaffee, going through Searle’s blocking and perspective.

  • May I repeat Brian’s question from before: “Does anyone know where I can view (or get hands on) Energetically Yours?”. Thank you!