I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Sultan's Elephant

This photo and the next three are Philip Hunt's snaps from Friday. Photos link to larger view

Good Lord Almighty! Royal de Luxe, a European street theatre company founded by director Jean Luc Courcoult is in central London this weekend and they brought with them a 42-ton mechanical elephant--and that's not all. Studio AKA's Philip Hunt was right in the middle of it.

I had a quite surreal Friday afternoon...spent as a parent helper with Anna's school--one of a few lucky chosen schools as it turns out--who got to meet the ‘Sultans Elephant’ close up... And I mean close up!

Man, of man! That Philip Hunt gets all the luck. What a spectacle! And the story! It starts out as an ominous arrival of giant wooden rocket in the middle of the street. What's inside? You guessed it, a giant little (?) girl marrionette! What's a little big girl to do in a new town? Get candy, that's what. Lollapalooza! (last three links not from the London show)

Above three photos from Friday, lifted from thesultanselephant.com

In the past dozen years, they have created a series of spectacular shows involving giant figures as big as 11 or 12 metres high. Shows are simple – the animal or giant arrives in town and lives its life, going about its business for a few days. Extraordinary interactions take place between passers-by and the performance; residents become enchanted with the activities of these miraculous beings and begin to follow their every move. By the end of the performance, huge crowds gather daily to watch the latest episode in the life of the visiting creature. The Sultan’s Elephant is the fifth in the series of giant pieces, the others being Le Géant tombé du ciel, Le géant tombé du ciel: dernier voyage, Retour d'Afrique and Les Chasseurs de girafes.

I'd love to have seen this thing walk in person. Hope it makes it down to San Francisco's Union Square someday. Thanks to Philip for sharing his Friday's event with us. Here's a link (taken last year) to video of the Sultan's Elephant walking and at the end of the day when giant girl and elephant are reunited to say goodbye.

The Sultan's Elephant
Royal de Luxe

Eric Pouhier photo gallery of The Sultan's Elephant
More photos and videos here.
You Tube clip. Long download.
Metafilter report.
BBC gallery of day two.
Final You Tube video. Bye-bye, Little Big girl.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Does that ever look fantastic!


9:44 PM

Blogger Ronnie said...

Ain't that ever?! Marc Craste, also of Studio AKA and director of "Jojo in the Stars" says that atop said elephant were dancing girls. He makes reference then that this is called at Pixar, "plussing."

And again, "Ain't that ever?!"

Thanks for visiting Bob. Regards to all at your neck o' da woods.


7:06 PM

Blogger mike . . . said...

that has got to be one of the coolest things.
thanks for sharing it, Ronnie.
you always find some new way to inspire.
very cool stuff.

hope all is well.
it's been forever, so i just thought i'd drop by and say a hello.
hi to bob, from me too! it's been waaaaaaaay too long.
anyway, i'm still trying to get the hang of this blog thing, but at least it's helpin' me catch up with folks.
you take care and hopefully see you again soon.
all the best,
mike kunkel . . .

4:48 PM

Blogger A. Riabovitchev said...

Great photos!Simple amazing!

4:02 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

That's sooo COOL!!

1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

that elephant is so flippin cool...!

7:59 AM

Blogger andrew said...

that is one awesome african elephant....the anatomy on it is spot on


also, nice blog by the way

11:40 PM

Blogger Scott Wright said...

Now that's just AMAZINGLY COOL!

1:01 PM

Blogger Stephen M. Levinson said...

Thats amazing!! That is out of this world!!


11:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa. That is insane!

9:04 PM


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