Thursday, 31 July 2008

Eight more days

There is a millipede of excitement crawling around inside me. Sometimes it sleeps, and then sometimes, when I've forgotten about it, I feel it wriggling around my stomach, or its many legs scuttling up and down my spine. And then I remember what it is, and why it's there.


It is 8 days to the Opening Ceremony, to be precise. More than cream-coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels, the Olympics are a few of my favourite things. Since the first games I can remember – Los Angeles in 1984 – I've waited impatiently for them to come around again every four years, and light up the Jones world like a comet. I might no longer meticulously fill in the wallcharts and Olympic-themed scrapbooks I used to when I was 10, but metaphorically, I'm not so far away at all.

We were talking about the Games at work today, and the lovely Sophie who I was sitting next to asked if anyone remembered Animalympics, a feature-length animated film from 1980 about – wait, yes – animals competing in their own Olympics. Of course I did. I loved it. It was shown on TV at intervals throughout our youth, whenever a Games was on the horizon,or at the occasional Easter or Christmas. It had slapstick. It had brilliant satire on TV sports coverage. It had awesome sequences set to music, which I now know was composed by the bass player from 10CC. The rights to Animalympics seem to be in the clutches of Disney and, while a DVD release is promised for 2010, it seems unlikely that it will be shown on non-premium-rate TV any time soon. But luckily, there are people in this world who care enough about Animalympics and YouTube to be able to bring the two together and make the world a better place – for you and for me and the entire human race.

Rejoice. Our children will be able to watch Animalympics. We will almost certainly win something in Beijing. And here is a taste of turn-of-the-80s animation in all its beautiful, bonkers glory. These can of course contribute towards your three-a-day happiness count. I'm here to help.

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