Western Animation: Pinchcliffe Grand Prix
37 miles north, a bit east and upwards, there’s Flåklypa.Pinchcliffe Grand Prix
or Flåklypa Grand Prix
is a 1975 Norwegian animated feature film, directed by Ivo Caprino based on the works of author Kjell Aukrust, and featuring characters from many of Aukrust's books.
In the tiny mountain town Flåklypa ("Pinchcliffe" in the English dub) lives the bicycle-repairman and inventor Reodor Felgen ("Theodore Rimspoke") and his two assistants, Solan Gundersen ("Sonny Duckworth," a cheerful and optimistic morning bird) and Ludvig ("Lambert," a nervous, pessimistic and melancholic hedgehog).
One day, the trio discovers that one of Reodor's former assistants, Rudolf Blodstrupmoen ("Rudolph Gore-Slimey"), has stolen his design for a race car engine and has become a world champion Formula One driver. Solan secures funding from an Arab oil sheik who happens to be vacationing in Flåklypa, and to enter the race, the trio builds a gigantic racing car: "Il Tempo Gigante".
This movie is one of the (if not THE) biggest successes in Norwegian film: It's popular enough that it has sold more tickets within Norway than the entire Norwegian population.
Solan and Ludvig would go on to star in many books by Aukrust, usually composed of small humorous Slice of Life
vignettes, and the pair would return to the movie world in the hand-drawn animated movie Solan, Ludvig og Gurin med Reverompa
("Solan, Ludvig and Gurin with the Fox Tail") in 1998, in which Reodor had a minor role. In this story, Solan is an Oslo private detective, with Ludvig as his assistant, and they are tasked with finding a nisse
(sort of a Norwegian gnome) named Gurin, who has grown a fox's tail.
In 2013, a new stop-motion animated movie with the characters and setting was released, named Jul i Flåklypa
("Christmas at Pinchcliffe"). Here, Solan and Ludvig are back to living with Reodor, and the plot revolves around Reodor inventing a snow machine in order to get snow for Christmas, but things get out of hand.
Pinchcliffe Grand Prix provides examples of the following tropes:
The follow-up movies provide examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Villainy: Just like in the first movie, both the follow-up movie takes an established Aukrust character and puts them in an antagonistic role. In Gurin it's the widow Stengelføhn-Glad, who comes across as a bit of a Cruella de Vil knockoff and even gets Rudolf Blodstrupmoen as her sidekick. In Jul i Flåklypa its Frimand Pløsen, the chief editor of the local newspaper, who is a lot more sympathetic but goes just a bit too far in order to get the news story he wants.
- Adaptation Expansion: Both movies were based on short stories by Aukrust, but since these stories were... well, short, they had to expand them with a lot of extra materials and plotlines.
- Art Shifted Sequel: Both the follow-up movies look notably different than the first. Gurin sticks out the most, being hand-drawn animation rather than stop motion, but Jul which returns to the stop-motion medium, has notably different designs and puppets.
- Big Damn Heroes: Ludvig in Jul i Flåklypa, who saves Reodor and Solan when they're in danger and ultimately ends up being the one to resolve the main plot.
- Parodied with Solan in Gurin, when he spends the climax of the story off-screen, and barges in to announce that he's here to save the day and has everything under control... after the problems are over and the plot has been resolved.
- Break the Haughty: Gurin tries to invoke this, with the titular character being a prankster and Gadfly who after growing a fox tail gets to be on the receiving end of teasings and pranks.
- Demoted to Extra: Reodor, in Gurin, is only in a few scenes (though he does help Solan and Ludvig with their quest to find Gurin). He's back as a major character in Jul. though.
- Disney Acid Sequence: In Gurin, Ludvig is entranced by the beautiful music played at the restaurant and lapses into a floaty dream sequence. Counts as a bit of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Solan smokes a cigar in some of the scenes in Gurin, including the opening scene. He seems to be doing it mostly to come across as a Cultured Badass, but his success varies.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Solan, in Gurin. He narrates the story and tries to present himself as the hero, but he doesn't actually contribute anything to the resolution of the story. He still gets to share in the glory afterwards, though.
- Invisibility: Reodor accidentally turns himself invisible in Jul. Uniquely, being invisible also renders him unable to talk, so he can't tell Solan and Ludvig what happened to him (trying to communicate through written notes just makes them think there is a ghost around when they see notepads and pencils fly by themselves.) Later in the movie, Solan's beak is accidentally turned invisible, which means he can't talk either.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though ultimately a good person, Solan is notably more jerkish in these movies than he is in the original. This is of course because the follow-up movies are based on Aukrust's writings rather than the first movie, and so use the books' characterizations of Solan rather than the Lighter and Softer one from Flåklypa Grand Prix.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: A variant in Jul. When Reodor turns hinself invisible, the narrator steps in to tell the audience that the reason we're not hearing the many inventive swearwords Reodor is currently using, is that he's turned inaudible as well as invisible.
- Private Detective: Solan has become one in Gurin, with Ludvig as his secretary and assistant. He's essentially a parody of the Hard Boiled Detective; the opening scenes of the movie are a Film Noir homage, with the camera panning through the city of Oslo during a Dark And Stormy Night, until we reach the small shack where Solan's detective agency has its office, to be greeted by a cigar-smoking Solan launching into a Private Eye Monologue while trying to look like a Cultured Badass.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Solan introduces himself like this in Gurin, ("Gundersen. Solan Gundersen.") as a part of his Private Detective shtick.