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May 9, 2006

The Sultan’s Elephant
Posted by Patrick at 01:03 PM * 20 comments

The grand finale. (Via BoingBoing.)

Comments on The Sultan's Elephant:
#2 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 01:16 PM:

This has everything wonderful in it (except maybe chocolate)! Elephants, puppeteering, water, fire, a weird space-ship thing! SQUEE of SQUEENESS!

Thanks for posting!

[[Retreats to mundane comma chasing, happier by the thought of one giant mechanical perambulating elephant.]]

#3 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 02:40 PM:

You have reached YouTube, the premier digital video repository on the Internet. We are currently working on the site.

We'll be back soon...

Drat. And me with a shipment of patience still on back-order.

#4 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 03:07 PM:

elise: I'm in the same boat.

#5 ::: Steve Glover ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 03:46 PM:

Um. There're a few errors in Cory's piece. We started in Waterloo Place, not Trafalgar Square (in an added touch of realism, there was an actual crater left behind when the spaceship was moved to Horseguards Parade) and the Sultan wasn't the little giantess's benefactor - he had had disturbing dreams of the girl and eventually arranged for a time machine to be built so he could follow her across time.

While the organisation left a bit to be desired in some places, I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

#6 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 04:09 PM:

I am appalled at the lack of commentary from wingnutsphere about liberal europe celebrating a sultan stalking a white female across time.

#7 ::: jill ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 04:11 PM:

That was the coolest thing I've ever seen. Didn't get to see the little girl (although I'm actually hanging on to the light pole you can see in the beginning just after the elephant splashes everyone).

I hope the company does things like this in other cities. It's just too marvelous to be kept to one corner of the world.

#8 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 04:11 PM:

YouTube's running again. Don't everyone go at once.

#9 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 04:26 PM:

BTW, am I the only one who would gladly pay to own a DVD about the Sultan's Elephant? It would be terrific to have high-quality video of the Paris and London tours, "making of" footage, maybe a dramatized backstory, concept drawings, etc.

#10 ::: Tom S. ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 04:35 PM:

HP: You're not alone. I'd love to see such a product.

#11 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 04:38 PM:

There's a TV programme being shown on BBC4, Thursday next week.

#12 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 05:01 PM:

There's a TV programme being shown on BBC4, Thursday next week.

So, these are the people we Yanks need to petition to get something available in region 0/1, NTSC.

Well, I'll be... BBC America's mailing address is in Florence, KY ("Florence, Y'all"). That's about a half-hour's drive from here. I wonder if I could just pop over some time for a bit of a chat and a sit-down, and just sort of casually mention the whole Sultan's Elephant DVD thing.

#13 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 07:52 PM:

It was lovely to watch, and I too hope that it will become available on DVD.

#14 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 08:32 PM:

HP: I would expect that the Florence KY address is a fulfillment house or remailer of some kind, and contains no one actually part of the Beeb.

Though you might drive up quietly, and if you see a red postal truck parked near a cat, a dog, and a Dalek having a tea break, barge on in and dismiss any denials.

#15 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 09, 2006, 09:40 PM:

Grey as a mouse, big as a house, nose like a snake, I make the earth shake ...

#16 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2006, 05:09 AM:

Though you might drive up quietly, and if you see a red postal truck parked near a cat, a dog, and a Dalek having a tea break, barge on in and dismiss any denials.

"Shall...I...be...mother?"

I was there in Horseguards Parade right at the end, but at 4'11" I didn't see any of the flames coming out of the rocket. My friend took some video, and it's quite amusing to see this forest of cameras and mobile phones being held up to look, like babies.

Now we just have to work out how to get it to Prague...

#17 ::: Kimberley Verburg ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2006, 06:27 AM:

I missed the grand finale but I did go see it on its way to Trafalgar Square on Saturday. Imagine all these tourists and Londoners innocently wandering around Piccadilly Circus and suddenly there's an elephant coming down the street at them. People just stopped what they were doing in order to run after the magical elephant. It was brilliant.

#18 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2006, 12:24 PM:

Sorry to derail further, but this is quite odd.

The telephone number on BBC America's contact page is a local Florence/Erlanger toll number (rather than the toll-free number you'd expect with a call center). Curiously, Google lists the number as the personal phone number of one Frank Hulefeld, "rock-'n'-roll club manager/band hustler" (shown here flanked by a Union Jack and Old Glory). Apparently (ahem), Auntie Beeb's American operations are run out of the living room of a 26-year-old punk rock impresario.

#19 ::: Joseph Nicholas ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2006, 12:59 PM:

I am appalled at the lack of commentary from wingnutsphere about liberal europe celebrating a sultan stalking a white female across time.

Oh, don't worry. Some pillock somewhere is doubtless frothing away at the first draft of his denunciation even as we type.

#20 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2006, 02:17 AM:

Seeing those pictures and the clips, I'm reminded of Being John Malkovich(IMDB). It was one of those improbable but wonderful concepts in the film that we might see puppeteering on a grand artistic scale.

This is one of those things that is amazing not only in itself, but also because people made it happen at all.

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