Deaf Crocodile

Benny's Bathtub

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This Partner Label release is distributed through Vinegar Syndrome's sister company OCN Distribution. Vinegar Syndrome had no part in, nor are responsible for, the restoration, extras, quality control or any content(s) of this release. We hope you enjoy our growing roster of Partner Labels and the expertise and curation brought to each release by their dedicated staff!

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This special limited edition spot gloss slipcover (designed by Alessa Kreger) is limited to 2,000 units and is only available on our website and at select indie retailers. Absolutely no major retailers will be stocking them.

Deaf Crocodile is an L.A.-based Distribution + Restoration company focused on New, Independent, Lost/Unseen and World Cinema with a special interest in Animation, Cult Horror + Fantasy, LGBTQ films, and the work of neglected and underrepresented Filmmakers from across the spectrum. The company was founded by film restoration expert Craig Rogers and distributor / exhibitor Dennis Bartok. Vinegar Syndrome’s sister company, OCN Distribution, is thrilled to be representing Deaf Crocodile's brand new line of home video releases!

How can you not love a psychedelic animated kids’ film in which a young boy, bored with the dreary and gray Adult World, follows an enchanted tadpole through the drain in his bathtub – where he discovers a surreal and musical undersea world?? Populated by singing (and barely dressed) Mermaids, a funky hepcat Octopus and whiskey-drinking Skeleton Pirates, the underwater kingdom is the grooviest scene this side of YELLOW SUBMARINE, with helpings of Dr. Seuss, Sid & Marty Krofft and Harry Nilsson’s THE POINT thrown in. (Kids’ entertainment in the early 1970s was truly outtasite!) In addition to the candy-colored, kaleidoscopic visuals, the film is famed for its incredibly addictive soundtrack featuring Jazz heavyweights of Copenhagen circa 1970, with vocals sung by the cream of Danish 60s Pop and Rock including Peter Belli, Otto Brandenburg, Poul Dissing and Trille on tracks like “Octopussong/ Blækspruttesangen" and "seahorsesong/ Søhestesangen". Considered something of a national treasure in Denmark (where it was selected for the country’s Cultural Canon alongside works by Carl Th. Dreyer, Isak Dinesen and Hans Christian Andersen), BENNY’S BATHTUB has been beautifully restored from the original camera negative and sound elements by Fiasco Film for its first-ever U.S. release by Deaf Crocodile. In Danish with English subtitles. [Parental Note: BENNY’S BATHTUB features scenes of animated semi-nude mermaids.]

directed by: Jannik Hastrup and Flemming Quist Møller
starring: Bo Jakobsen, Jesper Klein, Peter Belli, Jytte Abildstrøm, Otto Brandenburg, Jytte Hauch-Fausbøll, Rolf Krogh
1971 / 41 min / 1.37:1 / Danish 2.0

Additional info:

  • Region A Blu-ray
  • Three newly restored episodes of the beloved Danish children’s TV series “Circleen” (Danish: “Cirkeline”) which ran from 1967–1971, animated & produced by Jannik Hastrup and based on characters created by Hanne Hastrup – including the 1st-ever Blu-ray release of the wildly controversial, banned “Escape From America” episode! (Episodes in Danish with English subtitles)
  • “Circleen - The Snow Mouse” (1968, 10 min.) – the adorable miniature elf Circleen (who lives in a matchbox) and her mouse pals Freddy, Jack and Sammy decide to build a snow mouse instead of a snowman, and run afoul of their nemesis, the cat. Features Jannik Hastrup’s lovely, minimalist artwork and cut-out style of animation.
  • “Circleen - Sammy Goes Flying” (1968, 12 min.) – Circleen and her friends fly a kite and encounter gophers and singing tadpoles in this precursor to BENNY’S BATHTUB, with music co-written by BENNY’S composer Hans-Henrik Ley.
  • “Circleen – Escape From America” (1970, 13 min.) – arguably the single wildest, most incendiary and subversive episode of animated children’s TV ever produced. This starts out in familiar territory, with Circleen and friends going on a round-the-world adventure – until they get to the U.S., which is depicted as an early 1970s urban hellscape. They look for Mickey Mouse but discover he’s just a hollow statue. Instead, toy soldiers are terrifying the population, the police have swine faces, and they meet a mouse in hiding who’s a member of the Blank Panther Party. Imagine R. Crumb or Ralph Bakshi circa FRITZ THE CAT doing an episode of “Sesame Street” and you have some idea of the jawdropping “Escape From America,” which was banned from broadcast by Danish public TV.
  • New hour-long video interview with legendary Danish animator, author and BENNY’S BATHTUB co-director Jannik Hastrup, moderated by Dennis Bartok of Deaf Crocodile
  • Two separate audio commentary tracks by author, programmer and podcast host Millie De Chirico (“I Saw What You Did” podcast, TCM UNDERGROUND: 50 Must-See Films from the World of Classic Cult and Late-Night Cinema) and film journalist and podcast host Mike White (Cashiers du Cinemart, “The Projection Booth” podcast)
  • New essay by film historian and documentary producer Steve Ryfle (Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla To Kurosawa)
  • Blu-ray authoring by David Mackenzie of Fidelity In Motion
  • English SDH subtitles