572. Babylon – Peter Lord, David Sproxton

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SUMMARY: A speaker at a lavish gathering speaks out in favour of arms proliferation and the importance of protecting ourselves against our neighbours by having access to the latest machines of war.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘Babylon’ is an Aardman Animations short made as part of Channel 4’s ‘Sweet Disaster’ strand, a series of ‘animated visions of the apocalypse’. At the height of the Reagen-Thatcher era when fears of nuclear war were rife, ‘Babylon’ presents a terrifying vision of megalomania that clearly defines directors Peter Lord and David Sproxton’s political position. Although ‘Babylon’ is a far cry from Nick Park’s work, it was the first film he worked on when arriving at Aardman, with Lord and Sproxton promising him extra resources to complete his baby ‘A Grand Day Out’ if he helped with the completion of ‘Babylon’. Not a children’s film by any means, ‘Babylon’ is downbeat, eerie and symbolic, as a monstrous attendee at the gathering grows bigger and bigger as the speech goes on, finally bursting and swamping the guests with blood. The short’s small concession to humour comes in the form of a quietly subversive waiter who looks on in disgust. The chilling speech that makes up the film’s main soundtrack is given by Tony ‘Baldrick’ Robinson.

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