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British Movie Toons

     Miracle Maker film poster

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The Miracle

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   producers: Cartwn Cymru / Christmas
                    Films for Icon / S4C / British
                    Screen / BBC Wales
 stop-motion with
                    cel animation
     run time: 80 mins

"A visually stunning animation of the greatest story ever told"

    A feature-length adaptation of the later life of Jesus, with an array of British
    stars voicing the characters, "The Miracle Maker" utilizes a blend of intricate
    model animation and 2D techniques to tell its tale.
The opening is cleverly
    understated, with the adult Messiah revealed to us without the ceremony
    familiar from past adaptations. The film continues this restrained, mannered
    approach through to its conclusion...

    This was Cartwn Cymru/Christmas Films' first feature-length production, and
    followed the successes of "Shakespeare: The Animated Tales" and "Canterbury
    Tales", both of which utilized the same talented crew of Brits and Russians to
    produce their amazing blend of stop-motion and cel work. The model movement
    is beguiling, intricate, absorbing. There are whole crowds of figures moving in the
    market scenes, on the quayside, all moved by hand, frame-by-painstaking-frame. 
    Parables and histories are revealed in bright, fluid cel work linking the stop-motion

       Miracle Maker

    The film had a lengthy, three year production schedule. Hardly surprising given the
    complexity of the undertaking. Sadly, actor Bob Peck who voiced Joseph in the
    film died before the film's completion and release.

    "The Miracle Maker' was not conceived as a box-office performer, instead the
    marketing campaign was aimed at religious groups and organizations. The film
    also played well in special screenings for schools, as an educational tool. In
    America the film was picked up for distribution by Disney.

    Although intelligent, beautiful, and lovingly-created, the film perhaps suffers
    from the familiarity that comes with the subject matter. This is a story oft
    told. But the understatement of the storytelling is most refreshing, none the
    less. The filmmaking techniques employed are absorbing, the demands of the
    production to be admired, and there is a tangible hand-crafted purity to the
    finished film
. It does, however, demand a more than just a working knowledge
    of the story and introduces secondary characters from the Bible whom we
    are expected to already be familiar with - off-putting perhaps to the newcomer. 
    But that's just The Hound's opinion. Critics have acclaimed the film. See it
    yourself and discuss it with others. That's precisely what it's there for...


     Miracle Maker on DVD

     UK DVD The Miracle Maker

                Region 2 / Carlton / October 2000

     USA DVD
The Miracle Maker - The Story of Jesus
                Region 1 / Family Home Ent / September 2000


a Cartwn Cymru and Christmas Films production

     directors:             Stanislav Sokolav, Derek Hayes
     exec. dir:           Derek Hayes
     producer:           Naomi Jones
     exec. prod:        Christopher Grace   
     exec. co-prod:   Elizabeth Babakhina      
       Murray Watts
     music:               Anne Dudley
     voices:              Ralph Fiennes (Jesus)
                             Michael Bryant (Voice Of God / the Doctor))
                             Julie Christie (Rachel)
                             Rebecca Callard (Tamar)
                             James Frain (Thomas)
                             Ian Holm (Pilate)
                             William Hurt (Jairus)
                             Anton Lesser (Herod)
                             Daniel Massey (Cleopas)
                             Tim McInnerny (Barabbus)
                             Alfred Molina (Simon the Pharisee)
                             Bob Peck (Joseph of Arimathea)
                             Miranda Richardson (Mary Magdalene)
                             Anthony Sher (Ben Azra)
                             Ewan Stewart (Andrew)
                             Ken Stott (Simon Peter)
                             David Thewliss (Judas)


      On the web


Derek Hayes

      The director's online home, with lots of info
      on his life and works...

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© Cartwn Cymru / Christmas Films / F2009