Grendel Grendel Grendel (1981)

35mm film, Eastmancolor

An Australian animated fantasy film directed by Alexander Stitt.

Plot Summary

An animated version of the story.


Directed by: Alexander Stitt
© MCMLXXX [1980] Animation Australia P/L
A presentation of The Victorian Film Corporation, Hoyts Theatres Ltd, TVW Enterprises Ltd
Produced by: Phillip Adams and Alexander Stitt
Associate Producer: Greg Terry
Screenplay by: Alexander Stitt
Based on the novel Grendel: by John Gardner
Animation Director: Frank Hellard
Animators: Anne Jolliffe, Gus McLaren, Ralph Peverill, David Atkinson
Director of Photography: John Pollard
Music Composed and Conducted by: Bruce Smeaton
Recording Supervisor: Alf Bean
Designed by: Alexander Stitt

Peter Ustinov (Grendel)
Keith Michell (The Shaper)
Arthur Dignam (the dragon, Beowulf)
Ed Rosser (King Hrothgar)
Bobby Bright (Dung)
Ric Stone (Unferth)
Julie McKenna (The Shaper's boy)
Barry Hill (the foreign king)
Alison Bird (his sister Wealtheow and future queen)
Colin McEwan (head priest)
Peter Aanansen (One-eyed Arthur)
Jack Brown (Basil)
Ernie Bourne (Wiglaf)

See also
The 13th Warrior (1999)
Animated Epics: Beowulf (1998)
Beowulf (1999)
Beware: Children at Play (1989)
The Male Swagger (1999)


Cinefantastique vol.12 no.5/6 (July/August 1982) p.91
Although the film makes a solemn statement on the thematic level, the dialogue and visuals are extremely funny. Stitt's use of Australian slang and coarse ripostes are particularly humorous in the antics of Hrothgar and his bumblers, and in Grendel's inconclusive meetings with the increasingly enraged, clumsy and humiliated Unferth. Also effective is the beautifully-precise characterization of Grendel by Peter Ustinov. Grendel, Grendel, Grendel has few antecedents in concept and ambition. It misses the profound theoretical design of LaLoux's La planète sauvage (1973), although Grendel possesses an equally pessimistic message with its inherent violence. Its overall look closely resembles Yellow Submarine, although Stitt fails to capture that film's constantly inventive visual accomplishment and wit. Despite its shortcomings (or perhaps because of its technical modesty), Grendel, Grendel, Grendel is one of the most thoughtful and delightful animated films in many years. – from a review by David Bartholomew


Cinefantastique vol.12 no.5/6 (July/August 1982) p.91 – illustrated review (Cartoon separates the myth from the monster by David Bartholomew)
Cinema Papers no.19 (January/February 1979) p.215 (Australia) – credits

Australian Film 1978-1994: A Survey of Theatrical Features compiled and edited by Scott Murray pp.78-79 – illustrated credits, synopsis
The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.231