No, No Nigel!
I canot beleev it. Nigel Molesworth, the curse of St Custards, is to becom the star of a feetur film!
How can Peason, Grabber and Fotherington-Thomas make the jump to the big screen? Will Headmaster Grimes (BA, Stoke-on-Trent) still be feersum?
The producers behind the animated feature ‘Ethel & Ernest’ are teaming up with Uli Meyer Studios (who have form; they did the very attractive Ronald Searle inserts in the more recent St Trinian’s films) to produce the 2D, hand-drawn feature, based on The Compleet Molesworth series by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle.
Searle’s baroque, curlicued style makes animation difficult – he could never be computer rendered, which adds a third dimension – but artists have tried before. Bill Melendez, who did the Charlie Brown cartoons, made a feature called ‘Dick Deadeye’ in 1975 which featured many Gilbert & Sullivan characters and their associated music because that was the year G&S came out of copyright. The animation was pretty but hopelessly stilted.
The Nigel Molesworth character was first drawn by Ronald Searle for Punch magazine and was later developed into a series of books, published in 1953, as any fule kno. Matt Lucas has been cast as the power-hungry skoolboy, but how will the story survive without the deranged spellings and layouts of the books? And there’s one worrying comment; it will be ‘an adventure romp in the tradition of classic 1950s comedies, but brought right up to date for today’s family audiences, for a whole new generation to discover.’
Molesworth on a mobile? The horror!