Animation, in which unseasonable and unpleasant things happen to the formalised sentimental groups and familiar situations on Christmas card illustrations. —BFI
Terrence Vance Gilliam was born in Minnesota on 22 November 1940. After eleven early years of a Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer-type childhood (his description), his family moved to LA. There he was a witness to the Hollywood system, from the fringes. As a kid, his drawing and cartooning skills developed. After graduating from school where he apparently excelled at pole vaulting, Gilliam went to the Occidental College, studying Physics, which he later changed to Politics. In his last year at college, Gilliam sent copies of his college magazine work to comic maestro Harvey Kurtzman in New York.
Kurtzman was running a magazine called Help!, and was impressed. When writer Charles Alverson left the magazine, a vacancy arose, and Gilliam took a job there. He spent the next three years there – writing, designing and drawing – but being paid very little. During the time at Help!, he met John Cleese, who was roped in to star in a photo-story spoof – as a guilt-ridden man involved in an… read more