Reason #4298 to Love the Internet

Thanks to Ebay, I finally secured a copy of the long out of print animated feature “Grendel, Grendel, Grendel” which is based on John Gardner’s novel and stars the voice of Peter Ustinov. Who knew there was a soundtrack, too? I had heard of the film but never saw it until last night. It’s odd — adapting Gardner’s novel, itself adapting the story of Beowulf. There’s a cuteness in the animation itself which seems out of place in the story of the monster, but much of Gardner’s narrative is there, although the eating of humans is downplayed and displaced more to his mother than to Grendel himself. One of the fun things is that Hrothgar and his men all have Northern accents, but Beowulf when he shows up has a very posh and polished voice and a matching attitude. It would be difficult to convey Garnder’s creepy automaton who speaks in Grendel’s head, so this is an interesting take. I regret that the very last line is left out (a line which proved so effective in Julie Taymor’s production). I’m glad I finally have this and I can use it next time I teach the novel — or maybe even before…

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