Tom’s parents lead a miserable life in a nightmarish town. His unintended birth comes as a surprise, but the little thumb brings out all kinds of warm feelings in his parents. The father begins to scour the streets for doll clothes and furniture for his miniature son. The authorities become aware of Tom’s existence and abduct him to a laboratory filled with freaks and mutants. Terrorised by the scientists, Tom finds friendship with his fellow prisoners. One of them is the Imp, an apocalyptic force of pure energy, trapped in a bottle. Tom manages to escape from the laboratory and ends up in the apocalyptic no man’s land outside the city. There, in the shadow of the unwieldy giants, lives a whole community of little creatures. Tom finds protection with Jack, the giant slayer. The latter is very interested in Tom’s stories about the Imp and sees in it the possibility of taking revenge on the giants.

Eraserhead meets Pinocchio. This dark and funny fairy tale extends the boundaries of animated film. The Bolex Brothers studio of Dave Bortwick and Dave Riddett developed an ingenious combination of 3D animation of models with “pixilation,” filming real actors frame by frame. This technique has already produced brilliant results with Creatures, Vikings Go Pumping and Igor’s Horn. The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb, which took almost two years to make, is the Bolex brothers’ first major production. It is based on an award-winning 10-minute pilot episode (which caused quite a scandal at the BBC). The result is a stunning and shocking viewing piece, a reinterpretation of the legend of Tom Thumb in a post-industrial dream world of giants and little people. The musical theme of the film was written by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. The filmmakers took on most of the acting parts.

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