|Super Mega Special Review: Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Tuesday, 01 February 2011 13:17|
As any listener of the Wittertainment podcast should be aware, yesterday saw the premiere and online release of Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins (trailer over here).
A film born out of an in-joke bred from a film review, it's a spoof of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. But writer, director, producer, and Kermode and Mayo fan Jeremy Dylan has never seen Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. And it shows - mainly because Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins (or BSATCOP) is nothing like Christopher Columbus' family adventure. It's more fun. And it has more penguins.
The story starts with Benjamin Sniddlegrass (Andrew Griscti), a nerdy ginger kid living in Cockfosters. Bullied and unliked, he wears thick glasses and baggy trousers and sleeps in the bathroom. He has no knowledge of his parents (both superhero wizards, naturally) and is stuck in the house of his abusive aunt, David Morrisey. The in-jokes continue from there.
It's all over the place in a ramshackle way that's rather endearing - especially given the $9,000 budget it racked up. But in between the self-destructing pool tables and pinstriped men with quiffs, there's some good stuff on show. Silhouetted penguins adorn the excellent animated credits, Griscti and Davies are as likeable as their awesome haircuts, and the skiffle soundtrack is almost as toe-tapping as The Dodge Brothers. To top it all off, it's narrated by Stephen Fry, which raises the level of Harry Potter parody suitably high.
Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins is available now as a digital download from the official BSATCOP website.