Snails with beards, rectal trumpeting, and ditties about King Arthur abound in Terry Gilliam’s never-before-seen deleted animations for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s what Monty Python fans have been waiting for without even knowing it. The unused animations will be released on October 27 as part of a new 40th-anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film.
“This, in fact, is probably the only reason to buy this new Blu-ray version of the film, for the new animation,” Gilliam says in his raucous running commentary on the animations. “In fact, it’s old animation, but it’s the animation that was cut out by the rather envious members of the group who were trying to restrain a young and 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.” Gilliam, the only American-born Python, went on to direct feature films like 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, but never completely left behind the bizarre visual style of his early animations.
The long-lost works were inspired by a book called Illustrations in the Margins of Medieval Manuscripts — basically, monks’ doodles. But think twice before you go looking for it. “You won’t find that in your local book shop, I think,” Gilliam says.
The 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail goes on sale October 27.