Please Put This On DVD: Samson and Sally

10 Sep

This is going to be the first edition of a new feature for Lara and Reel Boy.  It’s called “Please Release This On DVD” and it is going to be a forum for Lara and me to present our arguments for particularly tragic cases of awesome movies not being available in a modern format.  In a couple years we’ll probably change the name to something about Blu-Ray or virtual reality, but until I have enough money for more modern technology I’m going to keep calling out for DVD releases.  This will probably not be as regular of a feature as “Facial Hair Friday” of “Cult Classics”, but I think it’s an important thing to talk about.  So without further ado, I present my argument for why Samson and Sally needs to be released on DVD.

Samson and Sally, or Samson og Sally as it was originally titled in Danish, is the story of a young whale named Samson who is as white as the legendary Moby Dick and is consequently fascinated by his mother’s stories of the notorious whale.  Now before I go any farther I have to admit a few things:  I have very few memories of this movie, and it has been probably close to twenty years since I’ve seen this.  I do, however, have scattered memories of being terribly fascinated and disturbed by it.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time recently trying to remember the name, but all I could get was, “that one with the baby whale and oil and sunken cities.”  It had been so long that all I had left were the vague senses of fear and wonder that the film left me with even all these years later.  Thankfully, my sister helped me track down the name of film and, consequently, links to where you can watch the English version on youtube.21_1_2008_10_35_114_o_by_Dansk_Tegnefilm_2_ApS

But why should I have to watch it on youtube?  My only other option is to track down a twenty-year-old VHS tape, a VCR, and then hope and pray that both of these ancient pieces of technology still function.  I want to watch it on my HD television.  I want to sit down and see if Samson and Sally is actually as disturbing as I remember, or if it will fall into the same category as the scene in the BBC version of The Silver Chair where the witch terrifyingly changes into a dragon.  (I once thought that was the most horrific thing I had ever seen. I have since realized my terror was caused by a hand puppet not even at the same level as the Muppets.  A child’s hand puppet.)

Realizing that my argument up until this point has not really been much of an argument at all, let me share with you the few memories I have of this film:  Samson and his family are, at some point in the film, chased by whalers.  The only way to escape is to dive underneath an oil slick on the surface of the ocean.  Well, since he’s only a baby Samson can’t hold his breath very long and he ends up having to surface where he is immediately covered in oil, emerging black colored instead of white.  How disturbing is that?

But that is not even the part that really got me.  There is a scene after Samson finds Moby Dick (Spoilers! OOPS!) where they are in an underwater city.  After finding the picture to put in this article it was confirmed that the city was New York City.  I don’t think they ever explained why it was underwater.  It just was.  And that terrified me.  I don’t remember why, but all I could think about was what had happened to all the people who had lived in the drowned city.  My sense of despair over what had happened to that place and everyone who had lived there has always stayed with me.21_1_2008_9_50_114_o_by_Dansk_Tegnefilm_2_ApS

I want to be able to rent, or buy, Samson and Sally and see if the sense of despair I felt as a child watching it is still there.  And I want to find out who Sally is.  I have no memory of her whatsoever and she apparently is very important.

slightly disturbed,



4 Responses to “Please Put This On DVD: Samson and Sally”

  1. Sarah June 4, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    I remember this movie as well, and couldn’t remember the name.Lucky for me, when i typed in google seare “whales+oil spill+animation” someone had posted the same question of the name of this movie on Yahoo answers. I watched the movie unedited because i lived overseas as a kid. So, I hope they release this on DVD but the unedited version and not the version they released here in the States. I looked into buying the UK version and then converted on DVD (I did this to my VHS film of When the Wind Blows)but the only copy I could find is selling for $70!!! Can’t afford that 😦 I wonder where and how we could make this happen.

  2. Scoo September 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    I found out about the title today (thanks to a google search for “white whale + anime” that directed me to Yahoo answers). This was one of my two saw-as-a-child/teen-and-had-only-fuzzy-memories-of-it films (the other being Quatermass 2, a 1950s sci-fi B-movie). I too had only some memories of it, hadn’t been able to access it since I was a child as we had it recorded on a Betamax tape with the sole player being disused after my father switched to VHS.

    I hope a larger DVD release is upcoming, as of now I know of a so-so quality Danish version (plus German and Italic versions).

    Will watch it with my children when they’re a lot older.

    • Rachael September 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      I have this movie. It’s great. dad told me the city he’s in at the end should be atlantis, and the “statue of liberty” should be the colossus of rhodes…which apparently went missing?? Anyways the scene where the whale goes up for air under oil..that’s just a random whale in sampson’s pod..and he dies..just sinks to the bottom because he suffocates from his blowhole being filled with oil.

      Anyways I’m still working on getting a digital copy with decent quality, but I’ve owned the movie for years since I grew up with it. I remember I got it at a Best Buy..sometime ago.

  3. Daniel G March 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I have watched this movie as a kid and I want to watch it again, but my VHS player ripped the film out a little too much and the film split. I know Amazon has a few copies on VHS. If you find a DVD copy, let me know.

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