Sweet Disaster

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Sweet Disaster is a 1986 series of short films, made for Channel 4.[1] It consists of "animated visions of the apocalypse",[2] and includes films such as Babylon and Sweet Disaster. The series was conceived by producer David Hopkins.[3] TheLostContinent explains "Hopkins scripted each of these films aside from the dialogue-free Dreamless Sleep".[2] The films are fairly obscure; Nick Park noted that Babylon "hasn't really seen the light of day for a long time."[4]


Babylon (1986)[edit]

Babylon was one of several Aardman Animations films commissioned by Channel 4 Commissioning Editor Paul Madden.[3] The film was directed by Peter Lord and David Sproxton.[2] The editor is David McCormick.[5] It is included on the Aardman Classics DVD, and so is the least obscure of the series.[2] The short is 15 minutes long. Its release date in the UK was 4 May 1986, and it was later released in Canada on 7 June 2003 at the Worldwide Short Film Festival.[6] Tony Robinson plays the role of Voice of Speaker.[7] The film's synopsis is "Dark animation examining the thin line between human definitions of war and peace". On IMDb, it has a rating of 6.2/10 from 67 users.[8] The film received two awards: Peter Lord and David Sproxton won the Audience Award, and Peter Lord won the Award of Merit for a Film Between 5 and 15 Minutes[9] This was the first film project Nick Park worked on after joining Aardman Animations in the mid 80s.[10][11] Aardman agreed to supply Park with extra resources for A Grand Day Out if he agreed to help them finish the film.[12]

Dreamless Sleep (1986)[edit]

Dreamless Sleep was made by David Anderson.[3] ScreenOnline notes that the film "spent ten wordless minutes subtly conveying a couple's fear in the face of an incoming nuclear blast."[1] The film won the Hiroshima Peace Prize.[13] The film had an estimated budget of £125,000 [14] The short was made in Bristol. The title of the short came from David Anderson "going to a carol concert in Bristol with the composer Martin Kiszko and listening to 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem".[15]

Paradise Regained (1986)[edit]

Paradise Regained was directed by Andrew Franks.[2] The film had an estimated budget of £80,000.[16]

Conversations by a Californian Swimming Pool (1986)[edit]

Conversations by a Californian Swimming Pool was directed by Andrew Franks.[2] The film had an estimated budget of £80,000.[17]

Death of a Speechwriter (1986)[edit]

Death of a Speechwriter was directed by David Hopkins.[2] Tony Robinson played The Speechwriter. The film had an estimated budget of £75,000.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Animation World Network described Babylon as "hauntingly powerful", and described Dreamless Sleep as "equally haunting".[3] ScreenOnline cited Dreamless Sleep as an example of how "later work strengthened Anderson's command of his complex technical resources".[1]


  1. ^ a b c "BFI Screenonline: Anderson, David (1952-) Biography". screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Lost Continent: Dreamless Sleep and Sweet Disaster". ukanimation.blogspot.com.au. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The History of Channel 4 and The Future of British Animation | Animation World Network". awn.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Aardman Animations · Interview · The A.V. Club". avclub.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  5. ^ "New British animation (1993)". dla.library.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Babylon (1986) - Release Info - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Babylon (1986) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Babylon (1986) - IMDb". m.imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Babylon - Awards - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  10. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Film Studios and Industry Bodies > Aardman Animations". screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  11. ^ "Observations on film art : Tracking down Aardman creatures". davidbordwell.net. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  12. ^ "YouTube - A History of Aardman: Episode 4 - Pete and Dave Meet Nick Park!". m.youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  13. ^ "animate! " Films " The Tongue of the Hidden by David Alexander Anderson " all " synopses " direction & collaboration " full production credits " film stills " tools & processes " background material". animateonline.org. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Dreamless Sleep (1986) - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  15. ^ "dreamless". davidandersonfilms.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  16. ^ "Paradise Regained (1986) - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  17. ^ "Conversations by a Californian Swimming Pool (1986) - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  18. ^ "Death of a Speechwriter (1986) - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-31.